BURGLARS stole bikes and play equipment from children who are mourning the loss of their beloved dad.
The thieves broke into the back garden of the Combs family’s home in Exmouth Road, Gosport, and stole three children’s bikes as well as a set of children’s golf clubs.
In September last year, 36-year-old Andy Combs died after an 11-year battle with a brain tumour, leaving his widow Emma and their three children, Kristy, Martin and Helena.
Kristy, 10, discovered the break-in when she noticed the side gate was open and saw that the bikes were gone on the morning of Tuesday, February 7.
The door had been locked overnight, but that was smashed during the break-in.
It wasn’t until later that morning when mum Emma was hanging out the washing that she noticed the lock on the shed had also been broken.
As well as the golf clubs, the metal frames of garden chairs, a roof rack, a grinder and poles from a paddling pool were also taken.
Emma, 37, said: ‘When I told Martin he was upset and crying because he used to go out on his bike with his dad.
‘And he’d been to the golf range a couple of times with his dad too – he even went on a round with him once.
‘The kids are absolutely devastated.
‘These were part of their memories of their dad and now they’ve been ruined by whoever did this.
‘None of them wanted to go to sleep in their own beds because they were so scared.’
Martin, seven, said: ‘I think the people who did this are horrible
‘I liked going out with my dad and I can’t do that any more.’
Emma added: ‘I’ve even phoned around some of the scrap metal places myself to ask them if they’ve had anything in like the things we’ve had stolen.’
Andy had vowed to his family that he would live to see his youngest daughter’s first day at school.
But just a day after five-year-old Helena’s first full day at Elson Infants in Gosport, the brave dad lost his fight with the brain tumour he had battled against for the past 11 years.
The burglary has been reported to police who are investigating. The three Apollo-brand bikes had recently been security coded by police.
Anyone with any information should contact Gosport police on 0845 0454545 or use Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.