A GLENAVY man whose wife is seriously ill with
cancer has made a heartfelt plea to thieves who stole a
religious charm from his house.
Ray Matthews, whose wife Gloria has breast
cancer, had a sentimental silver locket which had been given to
them by a friend taken from his Riverside Court home a fortnight
The locket belonged to a Franciscan Monk from
Donegal and it had travelled all over the world. It came to the
couple through a family friend and has a mini set of rosary
beads and leaf inset.
The family were asleep in the house at the
time the break-in occurred a few weeks ago. Ray had gone to bed
around 1.30am and it was only when he woke around 8am the
following morning that he found burglars had broken into his
house and stolen his car and some household goods as well as a
child's car seat.
But is it the silver locket that means the
most to the family and they are desperate to have it returned.
" It is very sentimental to us and gives us
hope," said Ray.
His wife had just been home from the Ulster
Hospital a few days when the break-in occurred and had placed
the locket in a bag for safe keeping in the house.
Since the break in some of the items,
including a briefcase, the bag which Contained the locket, have
been recovered in the Falls Park in Belfast. The car was also
recovered - at Leathemstown Reservoir - but the locket has not
"If someone knows where it is can they just
return it," said Ray. "If they want to send it to someone who
can then send it to us that's fine, but we really need it back.
"I have spent hours looking for it, sometimes
ankle deep in water - that is how important it is to us.'
Ray is still coming to terms with the anguish
of the break in at such a difficult time.
"I think that they were simply opportunist
thieves," he said. "But it is very distressing for us we are
just praying that the locket sent back to us."
Anyone who knows the whereabouts of the
silver locket can contact Mary Magee at the Ulster Star on