Girl, 4, too scared to sleep in own bed after terrifying break-in caught on CCTV
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CCTV captured the moment a masked gang broke into a four-year-old girl's bedroom leaving her too terrified to sleep in her own bed.
Householder Adrian Thompson told how daughter Harriet is now having to share her parents' bed after being traumatised by the "naughty men" who left her room "messy".
The gang managed to get into the home in Basford, North Staffordshire, by climbing onto the roof, the Stoke Sentinel reports.
One youth is then seen in the footage using a tool to force the window open.
At one point, an accomplice tries to join him before falling down and trying again, while a third man – possibly a lookout – can be seen pacing on the ground below.
CCTV footage was captured
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The thieves stole jewellery of huge sentimental value, including diamond earrings bought by Adrian for his wife Camille on their wedding day.
Some loose change in daughter Harriet's money box also went missing.
The alarming footage ends when one of the gang lashes out at the camera as they squeeze through the opening at around 6.30pm on November 12, when luckily the family were not home.
In all, it is thought to have taken the gang 11 minutes to get inside the property before spending around 10 minutes ransacking the three upstairs bedrooms.
It appears to show the masked gang breaking in through a window
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Adrian has told how little Harriet – who has only just started school – has been left too scared to sleep in her own bed following the terrifying raid.
The dad, who also lives with 39-year-old wife Camille Thompson, said: "Nobody was in at the time more by luck than anything else.
"My wife had returned to work in the office for the first time in five weeks that day. My parents had picked up the little one from school and I stayed for a brew which I don't normally do.
"When I got home I didn't realise anything was wrong and I sent Harriet up to get changed out of her uniform.
"My wife called to say she'd picked up some potatoes and sausages so I went to put the water on.
The incident has left a four-year-old girl terrified
"Harriet then came down with a packet of sweets and she seemed really sheepish and I sent her back upstairs again.
"It was at that point that Cam came home and she noticed how cold it was.
"We went upstairs and that's when we saw the mess and all the windows were wide open.
"We think they must have been inside for about 10 minutes for the amount of mess they caused.
"They had gone through all the drawers. They took some diamond earrings I had bought for my wife on our wedding day and a watch from our honeymoon.
"They were of huge sentimental value to us. They also handled Harriet's money box.
"Our best guess is that we missed them by six minutes as we got back at 7.01pm but it may be that they had a lookout at the front who saw us arriving home."
Adrian shared the alarming footage online
Adrian revealed Harriet is now having to share her parents' bed.
He added: "Harriet was the first to see the mess. She's a clever little tyke and it's definitely upsetting her. We've been trying to play it down but it's bothering her.
"She's more clingy and perhaps a bit naughtier which isn't usually like her at all.
"We just need to get her to the point where she's comfortable in her own room again.
"She has a cabin bed with a cover but she doesn't want that there anymore so she can check if anything is under the bed.
"At the moment she's staying with us and we're going to redecorate her room to try to wipe away all memory of what happened.
"The police were really nice and gave her a police teddy to make her feel safe. She really has taken to it."
The gang were masked
Adrian shared the alarming footage online.
He added: "I was broken into two-and-a-half years ago but apart from a window nothing was damaged or taken. That's the reason we had the CCTV put in.
"It's a lovely neighbourhood and it's upset everyone around here too.
"I've been staggered by the response the post got on Facebook. Everyone has been so kind and generous. It's restored our faith in humanity.
"The police are struggling to identify them as they were wearing masks and gloves but I've had messages saying people saw three youths acting suspiciously so hopefully they will be caught."
A police spokesman said: "We were called to reports of a burglary at a property on Basford Park Road shortly after 8.40pm on Thursday, November 12.
"Inquiries – including the assessment of local CCTV – are under way."
Anyone with information is asked to call Staffordshire Police in 101 quoting incident 717 of November 12.