A TERRIFIED pensioner has spoken of her horror after hearing a burglar break into her Portsmouth home.
Nina Anderson was in her living room in Hollam Road, Milton, Portsmouth, when she heard a huge crash.
The 78-year-old shouted out, thinking her husband Maurice had returned home but instead disturbed a burglar who fled before she could lay eyes on him.
It was only after she called police that Mrs Anderson realised a jewellery box containing gold necklaces and chains had been stolen. Her family had given them to her when she left Italy in 1957.
She said: ‘It’s got to me, I’m not sleeping at night. You can’t put a value on the jewellery. I feel sick.’
Mrs Anderson was alone in the house as her husband was out at the shops.
She believes the burglar used a crowbar to get through the front door as she found a metal pole outside.
‘I heard a massive big crash at the front door,’ she said.
‘A door slammed against the wall – I thought it was my husband. The front door was wide open, the porch was open and by the front gate was a metal bar.’
The irreplaceable jewellery included an 18ct gold necklace with an image of St Anthony which her late father Nicola Misto gave her. He was a firefighter in Naples and carried the image with him for safety but gave it to Mrs Anderson for her voyage to England in 1957.
‘It’s sentimental value, it’s been in the family for years,’ she added.
Mr and Mrs Anderson want to warn people about staying safe in their homes.
Mr Anderson, 75, said he was relieved his wife came to no harm after scaring off the burglar by shouting out.
He said: ‘It’s lucky that my wife was here and shouted out.
‘Otherwise she may have gone out there and she might not be here today.
‘Whoever did it seemed to know my car and when I was gone, thought my wife had gone as well.
‘We’ve never had any trouble for the six, nearly seven, years we’ve been here.’
Now the couple lock all doors and their gate even when they are home.
Stolen items included a short 18ct gold necklace with seashells, an 18in 18ct gold chain with a crucifix, a silver necklace, another 18ct gold necklace and a fashion jewellery bracelet.
Neighbours have bought the couple a jewellery box and a card.
n A 28-year-old man from Southsea was arrested on suspicion of burglary but was released with no further action.
Call 101 with any information about the raid, which happened at 3pm on December 28.