A YOUNG mother is terrified to stay in her own home over Christmas after thieves broke into her house in West Lothian and stole her children’s presents.
Gillian Robertson, 25, returned home on Tuesday afternoon after staying at a friend’s to discover that her three-bedroom home had been ransacked.
The thieves gained entry by breaking the lock on the back door using pliers.
All the presents that Miss Robertson had bought for her children – three-year-old Jamie and Kyle, who is 18 months – had been unwrapped and the more expensive gifts stolen.
The thieves made off with around £1000 worth of presents, including gifts for other family members.
Among the presents taken was a digital camera, which cost £100, aftershave, toys, and a bag filled with sports gifts worth £250, as well as a PSP games console.
Miss Robertson’s laptop was also stolen, which cost £450, along with £50 in cash.
She said the break-in had left her “petrified” to stay in the house in Rashiehill Crescent in Breich.
Now family friend Nikki Burnett, who owns Nikki’s Salon in Polbeth, is urging residents to stop by before 8pm tonight to drop off a donation or a gift to help Miss Robertson give her boys a special Christmas.
More than £400 has already been donated, along with toys and even a Nintendo DS.
Miss Robertson said: “They are evil people to do that to two kids and it’s totally wasted our Christmas.”
Miss Robertson, a full-time mum, said the thieves had even gone through her underwear drawers and left her bedroom door “hanging off”.
“I have tried to hide what happened from the kids,” she said. “I have been buying stuff since June for Christmas.”
After contacting police, a forensics team visited the house. A neighbour reported seeing a light on in the house at 5.40am on Tuesday.
Miss Robertson said: “I’m absolutely petrified and I don’t want to stay here, but I don’t want to put anybody out because I’ve got two kids.
“I don’t want anything else to go missing so I will have to stay so they don’t come back.
“The worst part about it for me is that they have been through my drawers and all my stuff.”
Miss Robertson said she was extremely grateful for Ms Burnett’s help. Ms Burnett, 39, from Livingston, said: “We’ve started a campaign on Facebook and we would love it if people in the area could come down and maybe make a donation or give any sort of parcel.
“To burst open all the kids’ Christmas presents and take them is absolutely despicable. Can you imagine the kids waking up and thinking there’s not a Santa?”
A police spokesman said: “A number of items intended as Christmas gifts were stolen during the incident, which happened between 10am on Monday and 4pm on Tuesday at a property in Rashiehill Crescent, Breich.
“Anyone who can assist with our inquiries is asked to contact police immediately.”