Eileen Shinn was returning from a holiday in Spain on Tuesday April 3, when, to her horror, she discovered her Queens Avenue home had been burgled and her most treasured and sentimental jewellery pieces missing.
“He took my engagement ring from 1948, jewellery that my husband, who died in 2007, bought me over the years and rings belonging to my mother, husband, father-in-law and mother-in-law,” she said.
“I wouldn’t say they were not valuable, but they were definitely irreplaceable.
“Everyday I could touch them and feel close to the people who wore them before they died, especially since my husband passed away. Now there is nothing. All to sell it onto some dealer to melt them all down. It’s unbearable.
“He’s not only stolen from me, he has stolen from all my children and grandchildren who I would have passed them down to. I hate him.”
The 83-year-old grandmother said the burglary had also left her feeling vulnerable in her own home.
“It’s frightening, it happened in the room where I sleep,” she added.
“I couldn’t bear to stay there at first and I’ve been struggling living on my own ever since. I keep imagining him walking up the stairs.
“Almost 60 years I’ve been here, I’ve never had a burglary before. But I’m not going to let him beat me, it is my house and I’m not going to move.”
Mrs Shinn said she was now just praying the police could track down the heartless burglar before he has the chance to sell the invaluable jewellery.
“The thief is the scum of the earth. I hope he gets his comeuppance.
“He doesn’t know what he’s done to me, what it means to his victims. For goodness sake, we’re all short of money. Why on Earth does he have to take it from someone else? It’s just not right.”
Anyone with any information can call police on 101.