"I had only just popped down to the shops to get my grandson a birthday card. I'd been gone less than half an hour, but that was long enough for someone to smash a window and break in.
I must have disturbed them, because when I opened the front door I saw some of my things stacked in the hallway. At first I thought my daughter must have called in, but within moments of seeing my jewellery box, I realised I was being burgled.
I panicked and immediately felt sick. There was no way I was capable of confronting a burglar, and who knows what might happen if I tried. Nothing I owned was worth the risk, so I tiptoed away from my own house like I was the criminal.
I went to my neighbours who phoned 000 and the police arrived within minutes, thankfully catching the burglars in the act. I've been so grateful for all the support I've received since the whole ordeal, but honestly the thing I just can't shake is the fear that comes from knowing someone else was in my home.
My little grandson has been so sweet – he's been telling everyone to make sure it doesn't happen to their Nanna. He's probably overheard his Dad talking about it – he says it's up to everyone to protect the most vulnerable in our community. I really hope the message gets through. I don't want this to happen to anyone else."
Sergeant Steel says...
"Even if you’re just popping down to the shops, it’s still important to lock all your doors and windows and set your alarm. Of the houses that were burgled last year with an alarm, nearly 50% were not turned on. If Martha’s property had been stolen, her chances of getting it back would be greatly improved by ensuring her valuables are engraved and marked for easy identification. Having photos of her jewellery would also be handy for insurance and recovery purposes."