Chippenham couple Margaret and Brian Burbidge have spoken of their shock and anger after burglars tried to flood their home.

The couple returned to their house in Cepen Park North after visiting friends to find their kitchen and utility room flooding.

They managed to rescue nine-year-old pet rabbit  Bright Eyes who was in a box which was filling up with water in the utility room.

The thieves had turned on the taps and emptied washing powder to create a foamy mess after they had ransacked upstairs. They stole jewellery, which is of sentimental value, belonging to Mrs Burbidge.

Fighting back tears Mrs Burbidge, 61, said: “We were horrified.
“It’s upsetting enough to have the house ransacked – your clothes on the floor, everything gone through – but to have it vandalised is totally unnecessary. What was the point?

“We are both very upset about it. I think we are fairly charitable people, but you do feel you are being targeted.

“Based on the amount of water there was we think the taps had been running for about 20 minutes. There was water cascading over the units and it covered the whole floor but it could have been a lot worse.”

Mrs Burbidge, a social worker, is particularly upset at the loss of her jewellery, most of which was handed down by her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.

The items include a marcasite ring, her engagement ring, an engraved silver locket containing family photographs and a small notepad in a silver case that belonged to her grandfather.

The burglary was on Friday, November 9, between 4.30pm and 9.45pm.
Police are linking it to a similar offence in the Stanton St Quintin area on the same day and are liaising with other police forces to establish if they have experienced similar offences.

Acting Detective Inspector Mark Kent, of Melksham CID, said: “This offence is indeed unusual. Being burgled is a traumatic experience which is exacerbated further by the offenders leaving taps running.”

Mrs Burbidge is willing to offer a small reward for the return of her jewellery.
Anyone with information can contact PC Andrew Henson at Melksham on 101.