Page last updated at 19:38 GMT, Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Burglars target Christmas gifts

Jennifer Averall and her daughter Charlotte
Jennifer Averall's daughter Charlotte is her primary carer

A woman said she was left "devastated" when burglars broke into her Leicestershire home and stole her daughter's wrapped Christmas presents.

Jennifer Averall and her daughter Charlotte, 13, were sleeping during the break-in at Stocking Farm.

On Tuesday morning they discovered the thieves had broken in through the front door and stolen a television, a Wii and jewellery among other items.

Ms Averall said she and Charlotte no longer felt safe in the house.

Ms Averall has been in hospital for the last two Christmases and was looking forward to spending the festive season with her daughter, who is also her primary carer.

She said: "(The burglars) have cherry-picked through what they think is worth-while and most of my daughter's Christmas presents are gone...

Ms Averall also she had not been able to get round to getting insurance because of ill health.

Later on Tuesday a local shopping centre offered the family 1,000 to help replace some of the lost items.

Insp George Wells of Leicestershire Police said: "It is sad when people are burgled in the run-up to Christmas but they can do things for themselves.

"They can lock their premises, make sure their neighbours know what's going on in the street, contact us if there's anything suspicious."

Jennifer Averall and her daughter Charlotte were asleep in the house at the time of the burglary

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