A FATHER has spoken of the devastation caused when a watch gifted from his wife to their son before she died was stolen by thieves who raided changing rooms at Brockenhurst College.
The theft took place while students were playing football at the site against a team from Luton, and 16-year-old Toby Bailey was among nine who had items snatched last Wednesday afternoon, his father John told the A&T.
The intruders stole a Links of London watch which had been given to Toby by his mother Emma after she was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
“Toby was absolutely devastated,” Mr Bailey said.
“His mum had bought all the kids presents because she knew she was dying. It means so much to all of us and not just Toby.”
Mrs Bailey died on New Year’s Eve 2017, leaving Mr Bailey to look after Toby and his twin sisters Georgia and Lauren.
“I will try everything I possibly can to get this watch back,” Mr Bailey continued. “I’ve been checking pawn shops to see if it has been handed in.
“I know the watch cost a bit of money, but I don’t care about that – whether it cost £1 or £1,000, it doesn’t matter.”
But he added: “Unfortunately, it’s because it cost a bit of money that I don’t think we will get it back.”
A Hampshire Police spokesperson told the A&T officers had arrested four teenagers in connection with the changing rooms thefts, which took place between 1.30pm and 4.30pm.
Among these was a 16-year-old boy from Totton who was subsequently charged with non-dwelling burglary. The youngster is due to appear at Southampton Youth Court on Monday 15th April.
Two of the others arrested, a 14-year-old boy and a 15-year-old boy, were released but remain under investigation.
The remaining youth, a 16-year-old boy, was released with no further action to be taken.