AN elderly woman was robbed of irreplaceable jewellery while she was out collecting her husband’s ashes.
The offender broke into the house in Rockbeare on Wednesday between 3.50pm and 4.20pm.
The woman, aged 77, was too upset to speak about the incident.
But DC Emma Prestwich, who is investigating the robbery, said: “She had gone out for just half an hour to collect her husband’s ashes from Exeter Crematorium.
“In that time someone has broken into their house and stole two jewellery boxes. One of them was given to her by her husband 30 years ago and the other was a 21st birthday present from her parents so they were both hugely sentimental.”
DC Prestwich said that the woman’s husband had died after a long illness.
“She is holding up quite well,” she added, “but the things that were taken were very personal to her.
There was a large amount of assorted jewellery in both boxes and police have urged the public to keep an eye out for the items. One box is made of dark wood with Greek figures on top and the other is blue varnish.
Among the distinctive items of jewellery is a heavy silver ring and a copy of Princess Diana’s engagement ring.
DC Prestwich added: “We are obviously very keen to catch the person responsible but would really like the woman to keep her items back. This is a truly despicable crime.
“She is obviously very upset. It has been an horrendous year for her and her had to care for her husband who was in and out of hospital before he recently passed away.
“It has been one thing on top of another and feels this is like the final straw.
“She does not need this.”
Anyone with information should contact DC Prestwich on 101 quoting reference number KO1373.