St Albans family subjected to attempted burglary fear for father’s safety
PUBLISHED: 09:51 13 August 2015 | UPDATED: 09:51 13 August 2015
A family who suffered an attempted burglary and damage to their property last week are appealing for witnesses because of fears for their sick father’s safety.
Thieves attempted to burgle the home of the Riccitelli family in Drakes Drive, St Albans, last Thursday, August 6.
It has left Diego Riccitelli, 35, and his mother Claudia, 63, scared to leave the house because his 74-year-old father Luigi, who is bedridden after having a stroke in 2013, would not be able to defend himself if someone broke in.
Diego believes that the burglar(s) targeted his home after he left to run errands. They broke down his garden fence and attempted to break into his shed by kicking it, causing £500 in damage.
He thinks that hearing him come home was what prevented the house being broken into as well. In a panic to leave, they might have ripped their clothing as remnants of a high visibility jacket were found.
The attempted burglary is the latest and most serious incident in a series of attacks on the house - the family have experienced people trespassing on and vandalism of the property on numerous occasions in the past two years.
Their neighbour’s home has also been targeted. Just weeks before the Riccitellis’ attempted burglary, their neighbour’s new Audi was vandalised, causing thousands of pounds of damage.
The family had installed CCTV as a deterrent but then experienced more people attempting to enter through the back of the property where they could not be seen.
Diego, who gave up work and moved back home to care for his father following his stroke, said: “Every time we have left the house something has happened.
“There’s always someone here or sitting in because we just don’t feel confident leaving it unattended.”
The family have lived in the property since 1982 but Diego said that they were now too scared to leave the house.
He explained: “They [his parents] both really like it here, but now they feel victimised.
“We don’t deserve this, we have no enemies, and neither do our neighbours.
“This is now being repeated all the time and I’m worried about it happening again. These guys must be one step ahead because they have avoided the CCTV on the front too.”
The family have even considered selling their much-loved family home. Diego added: “I don’t want them to sell the house. I don’t want them to give in. It’s like they’ve won. I don’t think that’s right.”
He commended the local police and victim support on their efforts and is hoping that by increasing awareness, the thieves will be caught.
Anyone with information about the attempted break-in, which happened between 10am and 4pm, is asked to contact the police on the non-emergency number 101.