Gloucester pensioners pray for Columbian burglars who raided their home
VICTIMS of a gang of Columbian burglars say they were "terrified" when they found their Gloucester home ransacked.
But amazingly pensioner Ravji Patel, 79, says he is not angry at the three men and has been praying for them.
He and wife Manjula, 66, returned home on December 19 to find their Tuffley home in disarray and £3,000 of jewellery and £270 cash missing.
He said: "Everything was upside down. It was a terrible thing and really traumatic. I can still see it in my mind.
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"It was really scary because we came into the lounge but then couldn't go into the kitchen because we thought someone might be there and attack us."
They were distraught but the loss of the items, which included a watch Mr Patel got for his 75th birthday from his family.
Mr Patel said they were "too scared" to go to court and face the burglars.
On Thursday, John Mendoza Arevelo, 40, Nelson Malo Rojas, 33, and Luis Amaya Suarez, 31, all from Brixton, London, appeared at Gloucester Crown Court.
They pleaded guilty to the raid and Judge Jamie Tabor jailed Suarez and Rojas for two years each and Arevelo for 16 months
He said: "The conclusion I reach is that you are a professional team of burglars travelling the country far and wide to find targets," he said. "You ransacked the house and as a result caused great unhappiness to your victims on their return."
He said the three criminals would be deported after serving their sentences.
The court heard the gang broke in through a side window and emptied drawers and cupboards, turned over cushions and even looked in the toilet cistern.
Police were keeping watch on the trio and arrested them in Cemetery Road, Gloucester.
Mr Patel said he and his wife were overjoyed when police returned all of their property this week.
He said: "They found them still with it all.
"Our thanks go to police. They did a marvellous job for us."