Single mum speaks out after home burgled as she and her son slept upstairs
PUBLISHED: 07:00 24 May 2019
A single mum has spoken of her horror after being burgled while she and her four-year-old son slept upstairs.
Karine Cumberbatch had been celebrating her birthday the day before burglars struck at her house in Romsey Road, Dagenham in the early hours of Monday morning.
Karine said: "Everything they took is replaceable but it's the feeling of being violated. It's a horrible feeling.
"It's wrecked our world. My son has been really scared. If we had woken up, what might have happened to us?"
The 25-year-old described feeling afraid after walking into her living room to find everything out of place.
When she checked her handbag she noticed £180 worth of birthday money and Air Pods headphones - worth about £150 - had been taken.
And the culprits had locked Karine's kitten in a cupboard to keep her quiet.
Shocked and scared, she called her sister straightaway who told her to get on to the police who gave her a crime reference number.
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When she told a neighbour he checked his CCTV camera which appeared to show two men breaking in after one of them reached into his back pocket to get something.
But Karine, who moved into the house three years ago and had until now had no trouble at all, said there was no evidence of a forced entry.
The student nurse wants to warn singletons like her as she believes the burglars could have targeted her because she and her son live alone.
Karine said: "I want to get the word out. I believe there are people like this targeting single parents and women. I just want to urge people to take the initiative and secure their homes so everyone can be safer.
"It's just so distressing. I haven't slept since it happened. I'm a bit all over the place."
The Met confirmed they were called at 9.16am on Monday following reports of a residential burglary and that CCTV from nearby captured two men entering in the early hours before leaving a short time later.
"There have been no arrests but enquiries continue," a Met spokesman said.
Police figures show that between April 2018 and April 2019 there were 1,301 reported residential burglaries in Barking and Dagenham.
This compares to 1,368 the year before.