Burglars 'targeting' sports stars

THIEVES who stole treasured possessions from jockey Frankie Dettori could be responsible for a string of high profile burglaries at the homes of sporting stars.

THIEVES who stole treasured possessions from jockey Frankie Dettori could be responsible for a string of high profile burglaries at the homes of sporting stars.

Mr Dettori was left “sickened” after discovering a number of trophies, including an MBE medal, and jewellery belonging to his wife and children, were taken from his house in Stetchworth, near Newmarket.

Last night, the jockey's father-in-law, Professor Twink Allen, said those responsible could belong to a “professional” gang of thieves who have recently targeted football players.

He also said he believed the items taken from Mr Dettori - which were all made from gold and other expensive metals - would be melted down and sold for profit.


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“They very clearly knew what they were about, and were very professional,” said Mr Allen, who is head of the Equine Fertility Unit, in Newmarket.

“They very rapidly ransacked the house, and spilled the contents of the drawers on the ground.

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“There have been burglaries at the homes of other sportsmen, and I think they are being linked.”

As well as jewellery and the MBE, which was awarded to Mr Dettori in 2000, the thieves stole a special Italian medal given to him by the president of Italy, and three gold whips which he got for winning the Dubai World Cup.

But the thieves - who are believed to have been watching the Mr Dettori's house for a “long time” - left behind less expensive trophies, and large, bulky items such as televisions and DVD players.

“They concentrated themselves on trophies that had gold on them, which they screwed off their bases,” said Mr Allen.

“They took my daughter's jewellery, and necklaces belonging to the children which were being kept in their mummy's jewellery box. It is very upsetting.”

Last month, thieves stole England caps, a World Cup 2006 shirt, a sports trophy and jewellery from the home of Wayne Rooney's parents, in West Derby.

And two weeks ago, Everton footballer Andy van der Meyde became the victim of crime when his rare breed dog, Ferrari, and Mini Cooper car were taken during a raid on his home in Liverpool.

“The thieves were opportunistic, but once they got in the house, they spent the least amount of time and knew exactly which items to take,” said Mr Allen.

“There is usually someone at home, so the thieves must have been watching the house for a long time.

“The things they have taken are mementos which mean something to Frankie. They are irreplaceable, and this is very hurtful.”

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire police, which are investigating the burglary at Mr Dettori's house, said it was “too early at this stage” to be linking the crime with any other burglary.

Anyone with information is asked to call 0845 4564564, or Crimestoppers, on 0800 555111.

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