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Heartless Thieves In Raid On Undertakers

By Jo Deeks on Thursday, 20th October 2005.

A bereaved husband is offering a 500 reward for the safe return of his late wife's jewellery which was stolen in a break in at a funeral directors.

In what police have described as "a despicable crime", thieves forced open a window and smashed locks at the office of Paintin Funeral Directors in Withersfield Road, Haverhill, on Monday, October 10th, and stole a small safe containing jewellery , as well as cheques and cash given as donations in memory of loved ones.

The safe was then lifted over the iron gates at the front of the premises.

The intruders did not gain access to the part of the building where bodies are kept.

The husband who put up the reward was too upset to talk about the theft, but was said to be devestated at the loss of the wedding ring and gold locket belonging to his late wife, who died of cancer.

A spokesman for Stevens Solicitors said the husband was willing to pay the sum to anyone who could provide information leading to the safe return of the jewellery.

"It is not of any great monetary value, but it is priceless to him. If he had not become very poorly himself after his wife's death he would have been sooner to collect it. He would be happy if someone just put it in an envelope and put it through a door somewhere", the spokesman said.

The Paintin family have issued a personal appeal for any information or the return of the jewellery, as well as a photograph to be used for a memorial tablet, which can be done anonymously.

"The Paintin family wish to assure families who had loved ones in their chapels of rest at Haverhill at this time that they were not disturbed in any way. They wish to confirm that the thieves did not gain access to the area where the deceased are at rest. The family themselves are very upset and shocked at this callous and insensitive crime which has caused further distress to bereaved families at an already very difficult time in their lives." a statement from the family said.


The break in happened between 5pm Monday October 10th, and 9am the next day. The stolen jewellery consists of a gold wedding ring and a gold heart shaped locket on a chain, which has two tooth marks on it. The safe is described as black and measures 18inches by 18inches.

A police spokesman said they would be investigating whether there was any link to a recent similar theft from a funeral directors at Saffron Walden.

Anyone who witnessed any suspicious activity in the area or who has found an abandoned safe should contact DC Jacqueline Mumford at Haverhill CID on 01284 774100

Haverhill Weekly News

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