Brazen thieves steal valuable jewellery

September 06, 2017

Thieves stole this unique fob watch that features a little horseshoe, stirrup and a riding crop hanging off the chain.

Another photograph of the stolen fob watch that was custom-made and originally belonged to Kate Thornton’s father-in-law.

A photograph of Kate Thornton’s ruby ring that once belonged to her late mother.

A photograph of a gold bangle that was stolen in broad daylight from Kate Thornton’s house in Dennison Street, Wahgunyah.

A Wahgunyah woman said she felt sick to her stomach after thieves stole thousands of dollars’ worth of jewellery from her home in broad daylight, including many pieces that are irreplaceable.

Among the items are Kate Thornton’s wedding and engagement ring, her late mother’s ruby ring and her late father-in-law’s one-of-a-kind fob watch which was handed down to her husband.

“It’s shocking and I feel sick to the stomach,” she told the Free Press.

“You just don’t know who has been in your house and it’s an awful feeling.”

Mrs Thornton returned to her Dennison Street home on the afternoon of Tuesday, August 29 to find her front door wide open.

She went inside briefly and then had to go back out to the car and it wasn’t until this moment that she noticed the whole barrel of her door was missing.

“As I was walking back out of the house I looked up and saw the door was smashed, I didn’t notice it as first as the door was opened in,” she said.

“There was also a cupboard door open and things were out of place.

“I freaked out and got out of my house and I was too scared to go back in as I didn’t know if there was still someone inside.”

After police arrived Mrs Thornton learned the thieves had been into her bedroom and had stolen more than 20 items of valuable jewellery.

“There’s about 21 items gone that I know of,” she said.

“There’s also a lot of jewellery in a cupboard that I don’t even know what’s missing yet, I am still going through it.”

Mrs Thornton was only gone for two hours while she travelled to Albury to clean her sister’s house and that’s why she was not wearing her jewellery.

Mrs Thornton, who was still in shock, said the most upsetting part was that her late mother’s ruby ring was now gone.

“That’s the one that upsets me the most as she left it to me,” she said.

“She used to wear it all the time and we have the same size finger.

“I will never be able to replace that, even when I get my compensation I just can’t replace that.”

Another sentimental item stolen was a fob watch belonging to her husband.

“It was my husband’s which his father left to him and I had it valued at $600 about 12 months ago,” Mrs Thornton said.

“He was a horseman and it’s got a little horseshoe on it and a stirrup and a little riding crop hanging off the chain.

“It’s a one-off; you would never get another one.”

Among other items stolen included a half sovereign banknote, Mrs Thornton’s eternity ring and a gold bangle.

“My iPad was sitting on the coffee table in the lounge room and they never took it,” Mrs Thornton said.

Mrs Thornton said she had been preparing for a trip away and had a small navy suitcase in her room that was missing.

“I would say that’s what was used to take the jewellery in,” she said.

Police showed Mrs Thornton photographs of jewellery recovered in the area but none of it was hers.

“Police told me to put photos up of the stolen items on the Facebook buy, sell and swap sites, so I did that pretty much straight away,” Mrs Thornton said.

“I am hoping people can keep a look out for me, a lot of these items are sentimental and I can’t tell you how much it would mean to have them back.”

On top of the theft, Mrs Thornton has to replace her front wooden door that was smashed and clean up her house after thieves made a mess pulling out items in cupboards while looking for valuables.

Police confirmed they are investigating the matter and urged anyone with information to contact them.

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