THEY are the special items of jewellery she was going to wear on her wedding day.

But with just weeks to go before the big day, thousands of pounds worth of cherished family heirlooms have been stolen from the home of a bride-to-be.

Rabina Pun and her family have been left devastated and the wedding day, which they had been planning since January, is in tatters.

Burglars struck while they were at work, breaking in through the back door and stealing Nepalese money and more than £16,000 worth of jewellery from a bedroom.

The family returned home to Derby Road, Eastleigh, to find clothes thrown across the room by the thieves who tore open a suitcase where the jewellery had been packed.

More than £150 in Nepalese Rupees had also been taken from a drawer.

Rabina met Sujan Purja, 26, a student from Kathmandu, seven years ago and the couple got engaged in January.

The 26-year-old carer is due to travel to her home country of Nepal in April with her parents Juna and Tirtha, a former corporal in the army, and her sister and brother-in-law Geeta and Rajendra Purja, who is a sergeant in the British army, for the wedding.

Only last week Rabina, Juna and Geeta had been trying on their jewellery and had packed it ready for the trip.

Rabina said: “When my mum and dad came home they were shocked. They went upstairs to have a look and all of our belongings were all over the floor.

“I was on my way home from work and I rang my mother. When she told me I was in shock. I couldn’t believe it.

“They just went through everything. It’s the biggest nightmare.

“At least nothing happened to us – that’s the only good thing.

“I hope that other people will be more aware and I hope nothing like this happens to anyone else.”

Thieves made off with three gold hairclips, a bracelet, ten rings, ten pairs of earrings and nine necklaces, including a special ‘mangala sutra’ necklace given to Juna by Tirtha on their wedding day 25 years ago as part of Hindi marriage tradition.

Police are calling for anyone with information about the break-in on Friday, to contact police staff investigator Joanne Moger at Eastleigh Police Station on 101 or to call Crimestop- pers on 0800 555 111.