Shenfield schoolgirl flees house as daylight burglars strike
A SCHOOLGIRL revising for her GCSEs fled her house without any shoes on during an audacious daylight burglary at her home.
Amber Weichhart, 16, dashed out of her house into the street after a trio of brazen young intruders forced open the front door of her mum and dad's house and searched for valuables.
The thieves took a video game console and £20 and, laughing as they ran, escaped using a getaway car parked in a nearby street.
The drama unfolded in Oliver Road, Shenfield, at around 3.15pm on Wednesday.
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Amber, who attends Shenfield High School, had been studying in her first floor bedroom for a maths exam when the burglars jemmied open the front door.
Her mum Suzy, 39, had popped out to collect Amber's nine-year-old sister Eve from nearby Long Ridings Primary School, while her dad Will was at work in London.
The family's seven-year-old wire-haired Dachshund Kasper, meanwhile, was in the back garden.
Amber said: "I heard lots of knocking on the letterbox and then it stopped.
"I just thought it was a salesman but then I heard a massive crash and the dog was growling and barking.
"When I heard their voices I knew it was burglary."
One man searched the living room while another passed Amber's room and headed up to her mum and dad's bedroom on the second floor.
It was at this moment that Amber decided to make a break for it.
"I just ran down the stairs and out the front door," she said, recalling her escape.
"I don't think I have ever run so fast in my life.
"I got my phone out to call the police but then I saw mum coming around the corner so I ran to her and told her what had happened.
"I was very pleased to see her."
Realising that Amber had escaped, the crooks scarpered with a Sony Playstation 3, minus the controller and cables, plus a £20 note they had discovered in Suzy's purse.
Amid laughter, the trio then jumped into a black Ford Fiesta parked in nearby Kilworth Avenue before driving off.
Suzy, a housewife, comforted a sobbing Amber, but was still able to get a good look at two of the men and called 999 immediately.
"I was looking at them and they knew I was looking at them," she said.
"I was going to take a photo of them on my phone and I wish I had."
The police arrived within ten minutes and took statements from Amber and Suzy while a scenes of crime officer dusted for fingerprints and a sniffer dog searched for other clues.
Will, a stockbroker, also hurried back Londo n when he heard what had happened.
The 39-year-old said: "I think it is terrible what they did and I hope that they get caught but I am just thankful that Amber is OK."
Suzy, who believes the burglars were after the keys to her husband's Audi RS6, which had been parked on the driveway, said: "You can replace property but you can't replace people.
"It could have been so much worse."
Amber added: "A few hours afterwards I was still in shock.
"I couldn't believe it had happened – you don't think something like this will ever happen to you."
She also vowed she would not let her ordeal wreck her GCSEs.
One of the men was white with pale skin and blond hair, aged around 19, 5ft 10ins tall, of slim build and wearing a navy hoodie.
A second suspect was mixed race, aged around 19, 5ft 8ins tall, of stocky build and wearing a grey hoodie with a black checked pattern.
The third man was described only as being white.
As the burglars escaped, a motorcyclist riding a green bike along Oliver Road had to brake sharply to avoid hitting them.
There was also a Piccadilly Whip ice cream van in the street and police are keen to speak to its driver.
Investigating officer Detective Constable Tony Tyndall said: "This was a scary time for the girl who was quietly studying at home when these men brazenly broke into her home by forcing the front door open in the middle of the afternoon."
Anyone who has any information is asked to call Detective Constable Tyndall on 101.