AN ELDERLY lady says she is ‘scared to death’ after her house was ransacked during a spate of burglaries in Witney.

The 72-year-old, who wishes to remain anonymous, was on holiday when jewellery and other valuables were stolen from her home on August 28.

Burglars smashed the patio door before searching a bedroom, in a chain of events replicated by several other incidents in the area in recent months.

The resident has lived in Witney for 52 years, but revealed she has grown frightened of sleeping in her house without her husband since the burglary.

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She said: “It’s just terrifying for us. I don’t want to be there on my own.

“My husband went away for a few nights and I had to sleep at my son’s.

“It’s never been like this around here, but we’re all scared to death.”

While she was on holiday in Weymouth, the woman's husband had parked his brand new van - which contained £5,000 of fishing tackle - in front of the garage door.

She believes the burglars had been watching the house and knew it was empty.

A neighbour alerted the long-term Witney resident after the burglars struck last month, when they discovered the scene during a visit to feed her fish.

After seeing the smashed patio door, the neighbour went upstairs to find the bedroom drawers had been tipped all over the floor and a safe broken into.

As well as taking ‘60 years worth of jewellery’, the burglars made off with documents including passports and deeds.

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A Thames Valley Police spokesperson said: “Thames Valley Police is investigating a burglary which occurred at a property in Colwell Drive, Witney on 28 August.

“No arrests have yet been made. Anyone with any information should call 101.”

The resident claimed her neighbours have expressed similar fears and that she knows of eight burglaries in the area in ‘the last few months’.

In May, two more houses in Colwell Drive were broken into, with jewellery again stolen.

Both incidents took place during the day, with the offenders climbing over the rear fence of one house and entering via the patio doors.

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They conducted a 'messy search' and took the items.

It came after 10 homes in and around Witney were broken into within just six days in January, with entry gained in each case by the thief smashing a window or door.

Last month, police warned residents across West Oxfordshire to check their home, garage and shed security after a spate of burglaries in the district.

They also advised homeowners to ‘light up’ their houses using timer switches.

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