32-YEAR-OLD TEACHER SHOCKED TO DISCOVER THE BURGLAR BEHIND A £7,000 BREAK-IN AT HER HOME WAS HER NEI
Culled from Daily Mail
A teacher who suffered a £7,000 burglary discovered her own neighbour was behind the raid after recognising his jacket on CCTV outside her home, Daily Mail reported.
Zoe Bloodworth, 32, turned detective after her house in Kempston, Bedfordshire was broken into by a man whose face was obscured, but who wore a distinctive Superdry coat.
The teacher later stopped her neighbours in the street to see if they knew anything about the break-in.
But she was stunned when she noticed one of them called Ross Peters was wearing an identical black, zip-up jacket as the man in the CCTV.
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Ms Bloodworth said: 'It actually clicked as he was walking towards me - I didn't let him know I knew because he is a dangerous man as well.
'He was wearing the same Superdry jacket. There was no doubt it was him.
'When we were talking he acted completely like he hadn't heard anything and said 'let me take your number if I hear anything I will call you'.
'He looked me in the eyes, shook his head and told me he knew nothing. There was no remorse.'
Ms Bloodworth then reported the man to the police and he was arrested.
At Luton Crown Court 41-year-old Peters was jailed for 27 months for his part in the burglary, which took place in January this year.
Assistant primary school headteacher Ms Bloodworth returned to her trashed home to find she had been burgled by crooks who managed to get away with £7,000 worth of sentimental items.
They included precious jewellery left to her by her late grandmother, who died last year.
CCTV on a nearby car garage captured Peters lurking outside for 45 minutes as a 'lookout' as another unknown man went inside and carried out the raid.
Ms Bloodoworth and her sister Stephanie Bloodworth, who she lives with, reported the burglary to police, but a day later went out to ask their neighbours if they'd seen anything.
They began speaking to Peters, when they realised they recognised him from cameras outside their home.
'I went for a walk with my sister to see if any of the stuff was left down the road and I saw Ross walking,' she said.
'I even explained in desperation that the items which were taken had belonged to my late grandmother, to which he replied 'My nan died too.'
'I managed to carry on talking to him through fear, it is amazing what you can do when you need to protect yourself.
Although I can see why some people might have been raged by it. People handle things differently.
'He had worked it out, a few days later that I knew it was him because the police were trying to get hold of him, and he kept calling the number I gave him.'
The items stolen from Ms Bloodworth include rings, bracelets and necklaces, designer handbags, makeup and clothes.
But she and her sister are still living with the psychological scars of the burglary today.
She added: 'It was my nan's jewellery, that was really upsetting because she died this time last year and she wanted us to keep it all.
'I have flashbacks about what happened. I have nightmares about people breaking into my home and it all happening again.
Ross Peters captured on CCTV before breaking into Zoe Bloodworth's house in Kempston, Bedfordshire (left) and a picture she took the next day showing Peters wearing the same jacket he wore during the burglary
'I hear every noise, every sound, and at one point I felt that I couldn't even sit down in my own home for fear of not being ready for what might happen next - I cannot relax.
'I was affected so badly I was unable to concentrate on daily life.
'I was sent home from work on several occasions for two weeks after the incident but I was too frightened to stay at home on my own so I went to stay with my mum.
'I would have described Ross as someone I would have waved to as I drove past him or I would have said 'Hi' if he had walked past me in the street.
'I was in total shock that he has done this to me.
'He (Peters) allowed the burglar to create the devastation which was caused that day.
'I ask myself every day 'Why me?' I have only been kind to people my whole life.
'Why did you pick me that day Ross? Deep down you know you did wrong and I hope you are given consequences to match the pain and suffering you have caused me.'
Peters pleaded guilty to burglary and Judge Andrew Bright praised Ms Bloodworth's victim statement for being so powerful and descriptive.