Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Please help us catch the b*stard

On the 31st March 2012, sometime between the hours of 6pm and midnight, we were burgled from our (then) home in Stonegate, East Sussex. 

The police dropped the case within weeks and the thief was never brought to justice. It’s something that still niggles away at us regularly.

Here’s our song “Mr Jones” from our second album, Home Sweet Home. 

Home Sweet Home is a collection of songs we wrote about the events of that weekend.

We wish we’d thought of the power of social media when we were burgled.  Maybe it’s not too late? 

The thief took computers, guitars (including a 12 string Fender acoustic guitar which had been modified by Rob and was therefore instantly recognisable) and a large collection of antique jewellery (some seen in the photo below).

We left everything in the hands of the police, and didn’t make any details public. 
We were worried that if we did, it could hamper the investigation. 

The police filed the case “unsolved” within months, so we’ve put together some pointers below... maybe you can help... and if you can’t ...maybe you’ll consider sharing this blog and this video. We sincerely hope you will help us, and thank you in advance for your kindness.

Here's some things about the burglary that just don't add up;

  1. DNA evidence (a cigarette butt) of a man with a record was found at the scene. He was arrested but released without charge as he was one of twins (whose DNA is the same). We were not allowed to see a photograph of him.
  2. Another man was arrested who they had suspected might be involved but was released due to lack of evidence.
  3. The police dusted briefly for finger prints (only in the kitchen) and did not ask for ours in order to rule us out. We were told that they had found no prints at all.
  4. We had only just moved in to the property. The previous Saturday, the letting agent called a flea exterminator to the house. He arrived in a beat up old red car. We were asked to leave the property whilst he dusted. He talked to us at length about our music, he asked the name of the band, and we naively told him that we were (at the time) out most Saturday nights. We were burgled the following Saturday. The letting agent kept no record that the man had ever attended the property. There was no evidence that he had done anything, and there were still fleas present after his visit. The police refused to follow this up due to it being “unlikely”.
  5. We were told by the police that there had been a spate of burglaries in the area that night, yet there was absolutely no press coverage and when requested, we were denied the chance to be put in touch with other victims for support.
  6. At the express request of the letting agent, we had just taken out contents insurance with a new company who cancelled our agreement immediately after the burglary.
  7. The week before the burglary, a log was thrown through the downstairs window. It’s a very rural area and the police said it had been the first reported crime in 5 years.
  8. We were told by the letting agent that the previous tenant owed thousands of pounds to the landlord in unpaid rent, and to many other people as well. He was not questioned, and nor was the landlord.
  9. We discovered that a neighbour of the property, who had also been a previous landlord of ours, was selling lots of items privately on Ebay in the weeks after the burglary. We contacted one buyer whose comment had said that they liked the “antique watch” that they had bought, and told him our plight and asked if he could send us a photo of the watch just in case there was a connection. His response was threatening and aggressive. The police again refused to get involved and so did Ebay.
  10. Very quickly, we were told that the “trail had gone cold” and any future attempts to contact the police on the matter were totally ignored.

OK... so maybe he’ll never be brought to justice, but the more sales we make of our music, the more we’ll recoup our losses and the more we’ll connect with our fans and meet new ones. 

You can find out more about us and purchase our albums at http://www.reddirtskinners.com 

Mr Jones was nominated ‘Song of the Year’ by UK Country Radio in 2013

The Red Dirt Skinners won “Instrumentalist Of The Year” at the British Blues Awards in 2014 and were named one of the top ten artists of the year by UK Country Radio

If, by any remote chance, you think you might have information that can help us, please email us info(at)reddirtskinners(dot)com

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