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Thieves steal gran's ashes
“THEY took everything, even my grandmother’s ashes.”
Those are the words of a devastated Southampton woman after her parents’ home was ransacked by burglars, who stole everything from cash and jewels to family photos.
Thieves smashed their way into Parmjit and Kashmir Bolina’s home in River View Road, Bitterne Park, ripping out two safes containing more than £90,000 cash and more than £100,000 in 22 and 24 carat gold jewellery.
Everything was uninsured and the financial loss was made even worse after the couple discovered memoirs of their near 40-year marriage had also gone.
Kiran Neary, one of the couple’s four children, is rallying the community to try and find the thieves, with the family offering a £10,000 reward for information leading to their prosecution or the return of their items.
She said: “They have taken everything from my parents. They ripped out these massive safes which are bigger than I am and they took my grandmother’s ashes.”
Her grandma Gurdev Kaur’s ashes were kept in an urn on a bedroom shelf.
The family had planned to spread them in India and were set to travel on December 18.
Kiran, 36, added: “My father has not spoken since it happened and my mother is struggling with the stress. They were going to take my grandma’s ashes to India and most of the gold belonged to my grandparents, who only died in the past couple of years.
“My mum and dad are old school, so they kept much of their money in a safe along with the deeds to the house, passports, driving licences, photo albums and video tapes of us children. Now they are all gone and we don’t think we will ever get them back.”
Mr Bolina, a 61 retired bus driver, discovered the break-in at 4.30pm on Wednesday, November 27 after returning from driving a charity bus for disabled schoolchildren.
He said: “When I parked up I could see into the front room and I saw the lights on and I knew something was wrong.
Then I found my gates were open and they ripped off my front door.
“I was broken. All of our savings were gone and some of my mother and father’s possessions.
We’ve been married since 1974 and all the little things we made for each other as presents were all in the safe. It’s something you never expect to happen.
It must have been a few people because those safes are heavy.”
Mr Bolina, who plays hockey for England’s over-60 side, added he had spoken to neighbours about the incident but nobody had seen anything.
Mrs Bolina, a former postal worker, said she had taken much of their savings out of the bank due to low interest rates and was distraught at the loss.
She said: “I’m so angry because I worked my whole life for my family and someone has just swept through our house. We are finished.
“Everything I have worked for over the years for my children has been taken. I worked full-time for 34 years and I also worked part-time jobs and night shifts to provide money for my children.”
Police are investigating the incident but no arrests have been made yet.
Anyone with information to contact them on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
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