A FAMILY'S Christmas and New Year celebrations were ruined after thieves raided their home on Boxing Day.

Elmarie Ward, who lives on Beaufort Road in Southbourne, discovered her house had been burgled late on Tuesday evening after she had been visiting family in the New Forest.

Days on from the incident, she is still trying to account for everything that was taken but believes several thousands of pounds worth of items have been stolen.

The burglars broke into the house by smashing a door at the back of the property before tearing through Christmas presents as well as cupboards in the lounge and bedrooms.

Elmarie, who lives with her husband, mother-in-law and brother-in-law, said when she got home around 9.30pm on Boxing Day, her bedroom floor could not be seen such was the volume of goods the thieves had gone through.

“It has ruined both our Christmas and New Year,” she said.

“I just do not understand why anyone would do this to someone, especially at this time of year.

“We were planning to celebrate Christmas with my mother-in-law on Wednesday after we visited other family in Lymington on Boxing Day.

“We went out first thing on Tuesday and when we got home to discover what had happened we were just in shock. Neighbours said they saw a car parked right outside and people going in and out between 7pm and 8pm, but they didn’t call police.

“It is not just the value of what has been lost, there is a genuine sentimental value and connection.”

A range of items were taken, including a Nikon D5500 camera, with two lenses, and branded clothes such as a North Face jacket, Dune knee-high boots and Ted Baker shoes.

Cash and two mobile phones were also stolen in the break in.

Elmarie said she is asking friends to keep an eye out for anyone selling goods second hand in the area and she has also attempted to spread the message online.

Visible marks could be seen on the door of Elmarie and her husband’s bedroom, which had been locked but was broken into.

Glass above a hallway door was also smashed as the thieves attempted to go upstairs.

The couple said other items, which were of some value, were scattered around in different rooms from where they had been left that morning.

The burglary has been reported to police, who said an investigation was on-going.

Elmarie said forensic officers had come to the property and taken footprints and other evidence, but it appeared the thieves had been wearing gloves.