Accrington mum, 24, is victim of £25k jewel robbery

The terrified mum who did not want to be pictured re-lives her ordeal

The terrified mum who did not want to be pictured re-lives her ordeal

First published in News
Last updated
Blackburn Citizen: Photograph of the Author by , Health Reporter

A MOTHER-of-three feared for her life when a robber barged into her home and took thousands of pounds worth of Asian heritage jewellery, including the gold from around her neck.

Sonia Ijaz said the balaclava-clad intruder ripped necklaces and chains from her person, before dragging her around her Accrington home and forcing her to hand over £25,000 of wedding jewels.

The 24-year-old nurse, who had been alone in the house, said she feared she would be ‘raped or murdered’ by the man, as she noticed a metal object in his pocket which looked like a knife or gun.

Police have appealed for witnesses to help their hunt for the offender, who also stole two iPhones, a laptop and £850 in cash.

It is the latest in a string of Asian jewellery thefts across East Lancashire, including a raid on a home in Arkwright Street, Ightenhill, Burnley, before Christmas where a man was tied up and subjected to death threats.

And in September, detectives said they were looking at whether a spate of similar thefts were linked.

Mrs Ijaz, of Blackburn Road, said she was getting ready to collect her children, aged four, three and one, from nursery and after-school club when she heard the door bell at 5.15pm on Thursday.

She said: “When I opened the door this guy just burst in and told me to take off all my jewellery. I would have fought with him but I thought he might have a weapon in his pocket.

“I started taking some stuff off, but then he suddenly just went for my neck and ripped my chains and necklaces away.

“Then he dragged me upstairs into the bedroom and told me to give him everything. I can fight like a cat and dog but I thought I was going to get murdered or raped, so I knew I just had to hand everything over.”

Mrs Ijaz had been given dozens of jewellery items when she married her husband Shahzad Ahmed eight years ago, and kept much of it in a wardrobe in the bedroom.

Her favourite items were a plain gold wedding set which her mother gave her, including a nose ring, anklet, necklace, earrings and headpiece, as well as a long gold necklace with ‘Allah’ inscribed on a pendant in silver Arabic lettering.

The staff nurse at Royal Blackburn Hospital added: “My mistake was flaunting my jewellery because I used to wear it around every day. You’ve got to make the most of life and I like wearing my jewellery and colourful clothes, but I never thought this would happen to me.

“I’m just devastated that I’ve lost everything. I feel naked without my jewellery, but I’m so relieved that my children weren’t home when it happened.

“I feel really scared now and don’t want to be home alone. I don’t feel safe.

“I was so relieved when he finally left. He just told me to sit on the stairs and not to move. I was sitting there and just shaking but I managed to call the police.”

Det Sgt Jen Lennon from Lancashire Police has appealed for information to help catch the offender.

She described the man as being in his mid-20s or 30s, and about 5ft 10ins with a local accent. He was wearing dark clothes, had his face covered and was also carrying a bag.

Ring 01254 353562, or 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 with any information.

Comments (16)

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10:32am Mon 20 Jan 14

useyourhead says...

These days if you let folk know what you have you are greatly increasing the chances of things like this, i'ts wrong and unfair but that is our new reality.
-
If your lucky enough to have cash or jewels you also bear the burden of knowing you may be a target and must live accordingly, be more cautious about the front door and get a safe. Better yet, put it in a bank.
-
I hope they are found and she can one day feel safe at home again.
These days if you let folk know what you have you are greatly increasing the chances of things like this, i'ts wrong and unfair but that is our new reality. - If your lucky enough to have cash or jewels you also bear the burden of knowing you may be a target and must live accordingly, be more cautious about the front door and get a safe. Better yet, put it in a bank. - I hope they are found and she can one day feel safe at home again. useyourhead
  • Score: 18

11:03am Mon 20 Jan 14

drunken donut says...

I hope that this asset is declared for tax purposes.
I hope that this asset is declared for tax purposes. drunken donut
  • Score: -21

1:19pm Mon 20 Jan 14

leyton says...

errrrrr white or black would help
errrrrr white or black would help leyton
  • Score: 5

2:00pm Mon 20 Jan 14

morty0710 says...

thought she didnt want to be identified, you have named her !
thought she didnt want to be identified, you have named her ! morty0710
  • Score: 7

3:51pm Mon 20 Jan 14

It's a spade! says...

Really?

You forgot to mention the keys to the Range Rover, £10,000 worth of gold sovereigns and the two Rembrandts hanging in the hallway.
Really? You forgot to mention the keys to the Range Rover, £10,000 worth of gold sovereigns and the two Rembrandts hanging in the hallway. It's a spade!
  • Score: 4

4:55pm Mon 20 Jan 14

roversok says...

Glad my girl was not married at sweet 16.
Hope they well insured & had informed the insurance company they had £24k worth of goody's in the wardrobe or they wont get a bean back..
jewellery. worth more than the house
Glad my girl was not married at sweet 16. Hope they well insured & had informed the insurance company they had £24k worth of goody's in the wardrobe or they wont get a bean back.. jewellery. worth more than the house roversok
  • Score: 4

4:56pm Mon 20 Jan 14

roversok says...

£25k sorry
£25k sorry roversok
  • Score: -5

5:20pm Mon 20 Jan 14

moxhie says...

morty0710 wrote:
thought she didnt want to be identified, you have named her !
Where does it say she didn't want to be identified ?
[quote][p][bold]morty0710[/bold] wrote: thought she didnt want to be identified, you have named her ![/p][/quote]Where does it say she didn't want to be identified ? moxhie
  • Score: 2

5:57pm Mon 20 Jan 14

phil kernot says...

drunken donut wrote:
I hope that this asset is declared for tax purposes.
Some people work hard bet you don't
[quote][p][bold]drunken donut[/bold] wrote: I hope that this asset is declared for tax purposes.[/p][/quote]Some people work hard bet you don't phil kernot
  • Score: 8

6:18pm Mon 20 Jan 14

sen c b l says...

drunken donut wrote:
I hope that this asset is declared for tax purposes.
They were wedding gifts. Don't you know Asians invite thousands!
You moron.
[quote][p][bold]drunken donut[/bold] wrote: I hope that this asset is declared for tax purposes.[/p][/quote]They were wedding gifts. Don't you know Asians invite thousands! You moron. sen c b l
  • Score: 11

12:00am Tue 21 Jan 14

adamdesk says...

better if you gave them to charity before they were stolen
better if you gave them to charity before they were stolen adamdesk
  • Score: -4

12:08pm Tue 21 Jan 14

It's a spade! says...

sen c b l wrote:
drunken donut wrote:
I hope that this asset is declared for tax purposes.
They were wedding gifts. Don't you know Asians invite thousands!
You moron.
That means they won't have any receipts. They might struggle with an insurance claim.
[quote][p][bold]sen c b l[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]drunken donut[/bold] wrote: I hope that this asset is declared for tax purposes.[/p][/quote]They were wedding gifts. Don't you know Asians invite thousands! You moron.[/p][/quote]That means they won't have any receipts. They might struggle with an insurance claim. It's a spade!
  • Score: 0

1:31pm Tue 21 Jan 14

WhatTheWaterGaveMe says...

leyton wrote:
errrrrr white or black would help
Errrrrrrr it said the intruder was wearing a balaclava.
[quote][p][bold]leyton[/bold] wrote: errrrrr white or black would help[/p][/quote]Errrrrrrr it said the intruder was wearing a balaclava. WhatTheWaterGaveMe
  • Score: 2

5:53pm Tue 21 Jan 14

englishmuslim says...

morty0710 wrote:
thought she didnt want to be identified, you have named her !
She didn't want to be pictured. There's a difference between the two pal.
[quote][p][bold]morty0710[/bold] wrote: thought she didnt want to be identified, you have named her ![/p][/quote]She didn't want to be pictured. There's a difference between the two pal. englishmuslim
  • Score: -1

1:58pm Thu 23 Jan 14

morty0710 says...

Hey I'm not your pal,
surely if you dont want to be pictured you dont want to be named ! pretty obvious eh!
Hey I'm not your pal, surely if you dont want to be pictured you dont want to be named ! pretty obvious eh! morty0710
  • Score: 0

12:35pm Tue 28 Jan 14

woolywords says...

Let's face it, given the numbers of this type of home invasion robbery, the perpetrator is going to be Asian. Eye colour, skin tone - on either eyelids or hands, will be noticed, along with the smell of the clothing.
No jeweller worth his salt is going to buy Asian jewellery from a non-Asian, without checking to see if it is stolen, I'd have thought. Men wouldn't sell a women's jewellery, as it's always, her property.

Just as we advised the elderly to not open their doors to unexpected callers, sadly, the same has to apply to everyone now. Get a door chain (under £2, online) and door peephole fitted (less than £2 on eBay). Fit a strongbox (£100 or so, online) to a concrete floor and state that your absent husband has the key to it.
These types of crimes are going to increase, now that banks are no longer providing safety deposit boxes.
Stay safe and don't let them get away with it.
Let's face it, given the numbers of this type of home invasion robbery, the perpetrator is going to be Asian. Eye colour, skin tone - on either eyelids or hands, will be noticed, along with the smell of the clothing. No jeweller worth his salt is going to buy Asian jewellery from a non-Asian, without checking to see if it is stolen, I'd have thought. Men wouldn't sell a women's jewellery, as it's always, her property. Just as we advised the elderly to not open their doors to unexpected callers, sadly, the same has to apply to everyone now. Get a door chain (under £2, online) and door peephole fitted (less than £2 on eBay). Fit a strongbox (£100 or so, online) to a concrete floor and state that your absent husband has the key to it. These types of crimes are going to increase, now that banks are no longer providing safety deposit boxes. Stay safe and don't let them get away with it. woolywords
  • Score: 0

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