Our house was robbed as we slept – I still don’t feel safe

Woman whose house was robbed and her car burned out while she slept reveals she STILL doesn’t feel safe 5 years later – despite moving home

It’s been five years since Jen Sizeland’s house was targeted by burglars on her South Manchester estate.

She and her partner were asleep when the robbery happened in November 2017 – but the mum-of-one admits she still struggles to get through the night, as she has been left terrified it will happen again.

‘That one night has changed my life, my whole outlook – and took away the security I feel in the one place I should have felt safest: My own home,’ Jen tells Metro.co.uk.

It was 1am when Jen’s partner woke her up in a panic, telling her the car had been stolen. The couple looked out of their bedroom window in shock, before heading downstairs to find their house had been hit, too.

Jen Sizeland has revealed how she still struggles to sleep at night five years after her Manchestser home was broken into while she slept

Jen Sizeland has revealed how she still struggles to sleep at night five years after her Manchestser home was broken into while she slept 

Jen's car was stolen and later found burnt out in playing fields near her house, thanks to assistance from a local Facebook group

Jen’s car was stolen and later found burnt out in playing fields near her house, thanks to assistance from a local Facebook group 

‘The lights were on and the cupboards were open,’ recalls Jen. ‘As we picked our way through our remaining things, we realised they’d taken my hard drives, house keys, camera and camera lens, laptop and purse.

‘Dirty footprints were trampled all over the downstairs, but ended in the living room. They hadn’t come upstairs – but I worried they would in the future.’

The couple called a locksmith and while they waited, stacked their furniture against the door, ‘praying’ the burglars wouldn’t come back.

But they did the next night, trying their luck now they had Jen’s keys. Thankfully, they were deterred once they realised the locks had been changed and the couple had left the lights on.

Jen said she didn't feel supported by the police, revealing how locals helped her track down her car after posting on Facebook

Jen said she didn’t feel supported by the police, revealing how locals helped her track down her car after posting on Facebook 

Jen bemoans the lack of assistance she felt she received from the police, and says that her car was eventually found by locals and posted in a local Facebook group. It was burnt out in playing fields near her house.

It meant that Jen started looking into the crime herself, with the help of other people across the estate who had also been hit.

‘Another victim caught three guys on CCTV – one of them had a pronounced limp.

‘Two years after the burglary, a man limped past me as I walked through the estate and fear shot through me. Had he been in my house, held a flame to my petrol-soaked car and looked through my personal photos?’

Jen pictured out for a walk with her baby. She says that despite moving house, she still feels afraid that she will be broken into again

Jen pictured out for a walk with her baby. She says that despite moving house, she still feels afraid that she will be broken into again 

‘My neighbour found a knife dropped in her garden and I felt more afraid in my own home than ever.’

It was the moment Jen realised she was still deeply traumatised by the robbery and needed to get out – especially as the couple looked to expand their family.

‘We took extra jobs, saved as much as we could and after four years, we moved house.

‘The relief of leaving was huge, but I still don’t feel safe because burglars don’t just steal your possessions, they steal your sense of security too.’

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