"I won't be defeated" - Ashchurch pensioner is defiant in face of two break-ins
TO be burgled twice within a week might defeat the strongest, but Mary Ball won’t be beaten.
The 75-year-old widow, who lives on a farm in Ashchurch, lost up to £700 cash in a break-in last week.
The thieves also stole thousands of pounds worth of tools from industrial units she rents out.
This week, raiders returned and stole the heavy cast-iron safe from Mrs Ball’s kitchen.
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She said: “After the police came round last week they warned the burglars would be back for the safe.
“There was two of them first time and they couldn’t carry the safe.”
In the early hours of Tuesday morning Mr Ball, who has two sons, said she thought one, Gary, who lives with her, was setting off to work early.
She said: “I saw someone in the kitchen and I called out to Gary, thinking it was him. Then five minutes later they were gone.
“If I hadn’t thought it was Gary, I’d have opened the door and confronted them.
“They think I’m a little old lady but I’m not going to be defeated.
“What’s beyond despicable is that they’re stealing people’s livelihood.
“The money is one thing, but that can be earned.
“But the tools they’ve stolen means people can’t be earning a livelihood until that’s sorted out.”
In the second theft, the burglars only got away with the safe, which held no money, just some electricity meter cards.
Mrs Ball said: “Even the cards are coded for here so are no use to them.
“My son Phillip said that safe was lined with asbestos so it’ll probably choke them when they open it.” She added: “If anyone knows who did this and they don’t say anything then they’re as bad as the burglars in my eyes. It’s a devastating thing to do.”
The business woman explained that the kitchen that was broken into was where she did most of her dealings with tenants.
She said: “This is not what I call a domestic kitchen, it’s a business kitchen, it’s where I take the rent from the units and the flats we rent out and the caravan park. I’m sure this wasn’t someone who’s come down the M5, an adventurer. This is someone who knows what I have in here.”
Gloucestershire police want anyone who has information about either crime to contact them on 101 quoting reference 55 of September 30 or 536 of October 9.
Yesterday, we reported how 81-year-old Suzanne Merrell was the victim of a burglary by conman Casey Bowen, who was jailed for three years.
Advice on home security can be found on gloucestershire.police.uk.