Detectives say they do not believe a spate of burglaries in which St Helens homes were targeted while their owners were visiting hospital are linked.
In a matter of days, heartless burglars struck at the home of ex-Saints star Steve Prescott while he was undergoing hospital treatment and at the home of a Rainhill pensioner as he visited his dying partner in Willowbrook Hospice.
In the first raid, crooks stole Steve Prescott’s children’s bikes and in the second burglars made off with two digital cameras which contained numerous photos of the homeowner with his terminally ill partner.
Police now say two men also broke into a property on Broad Oak Road in Parr during the same week – stealing jewellery shortly after 7pm on October 11.
Again, the raid was completed while the owner visited his wife in hospital.
After searching the house, the crooks then climbed over the rear wall and are believed to have been picked up by a person driving a black car with silver roof bars and door handles – possibly a Peugeot 307 or similar.
The house has since been forensically examined and house-to-house inquiries carried out. CCTV from the area is also being reviewed.
DC Andrew Passey, of St Helens CID, said: “This was a particularly nasty break-in which happened while the victim was visiting his wife in hospital. He came back to find his home had been ransacked and jewellery with sentimental value had been taken.
“Some of this jewellery is very distinctive and includes a gold and silver type bracelet with ‘Chris and Carol’ engraved on it and a yellow gold solitaire diamond ring.
“I’d appeal to people who may have noticed anyone acting suspiciously in the area, or seen a car similar to the one described, to contact us. I’d also ask people to keep a look-out for the jewellery which the victim is, understandably, anxious to have returned.”
Anyone with information can call St Helens CID on 0151 777 6829.
or Crimestoppers, in confidence, on 0800 555 111.