An elderly couple who care for their four-year-old great granddaughter have been left terrified after burglars ransacked their home in Leeds.
Rose McShane, 71 and husband Joe, 73, fear intruders will return if they leave their semi-detached council home in Silk Mill Drive at Tinshill unoccupied.
Raiders struck when Mrs McShane left the house to pick great granddaughter Imogyn up from her nursery at Ireland Wood on Wednesday, September 12.
Her husband Joe, a retired caretaker at Tinshill Primary School, was also out of the house for the afternoon.
The couple, who have cared for Imogyn for 18 months, say raiders took £160 they had been saving to take the youngster to Flamingo Land for her fourth birthday, which she celebrates today.
Also taken were jewellery – including items of sentimental value – a camera and computer. Thieves broke in through a lounge window at the back of the house and left the front door wide open when they fled.
Mrs McShane, a retired secretary, was gutted to find her family’s home had been raided when she arrived home with Imogyn.
She said: “We are devastated. I shudder when I think what might have happened if they had still been in the house when I came home with the baby.
“They pulled every draw out of every cupboard in our bedroom. They pushed the mattress off the bed and damaged the wardrobe. Everything was strewn all over.”
Mrs McShane added: “I feel frightened to leave the house in case they come back.
“They are low life. Why the hell don’t they go out and work like we had to do. We are both pensioners and are not well off by any means.”
A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police said: “We are investigating a report of a burglary at Silk Mill Drive, Tinshill. It happened between 2.45pm and 4.30pm on Wednesday September 12.
“Thieves forced open a ground floor window to gain entry. Items stolen included jewellery, cash, a digital camera and a computer disk drive.”
The spokesman added: “A 26-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the incident and is currently on police bail pending further enquiries. Officers have visited the complainant and carried out a security assessment and officers from the local neighbourhood policing team will continue to patrol the area to prevent any further incidents.”