EXCLUSIVE: Mother’s terror as gang of masked raiders burst into her home and drag her autistic brother upstairs at knifepoint before taking inheritance left in safe by their dead father
- EXCLUSIVE: Vicky Bygrave and her family were left traumatised by the incident
- Thieves stole the inheritance money her father left when he died three years ago
A ‘distraught’ mother has shared horrifying CCTV footage of masked raiders bursting into her home before holding her brother at knifepoint and fleeing with a safe full of inheritance money left behind by their father who died three years ago.
Shocking video caught the four intruders breaking into a property on Perch Avenue in Chelmsley Wood, Solihull, West Midlands, with a knife and crowbar at around 5.15pm on Friday.
West Midlands Police has launched an investigation after the brazen thugs fled the house with a safe which had a ‘large amount of money’ inside.
Vicky Bygrave, who was at home with her mother and brother when the thieves stormed their house, believes this was a ‘targeted’ attack because only a few people know about the safe.
The 36-year-old said her autistic brother Andrew, 34, was ‘dragged by the neck’ by the thugs who demanded he showed them where the safe was. Inside the safe was money from Ms Bygrave’s father who died three years ago after a battle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) – a lung condition.
This is the horrifying moment masked raiders burst into a home and held a terrified family at knife point in broad daylight
Vicky Bygrave (pictured) says her family have been completely traumatised after they were robbed at knifepoint. The thieve stole inheritance money left by her father (pictured) who died three years ago
Fighting back tears, Ms Bygrave told MailOnline how the knife-wielding thugs grabbed her brother round the neck and dragged him to his room, demanding he handed over the money.
Ms Bygrave, who was left helpless after the thieves locked her in the living room, said: ‘I can’t even describe it, it was terrifying. I heard the door shut and wondered what was going on. One of them showed a knife and it was horrible. They looked at me and looked upstairs and I’m still trying to open the door, the dogs were barking.
‘The next thing I know they’ve gone running outside and my brothers come downstairs and said “They grabbed me round the neck. They put me in my room and they got the safe, they’ve got the safe”.’
Ms Bygrave, a full-time carer, has bravely shared the CCTV footage in the hope that the thieves will be brought to justice. Since the home invasion, she has been suffering from panic attacks and is constantly checking over her shoulder, while her 18-year-old son Bradley now sleeps with a baseball bat.
In the video, two masked thugs wearing gloves and full tracksuits casually stroll up to the family’s house and then call two other men over to join. One of the thieves is holding what appears to be a knife as he storms the house.
The two who were called over are then caught on camera quickly rushing into the house with masks on behind their accomplices. Around two minutes later, the gang of hooded raiders are seen fleeing the property as they sprint off into the distance.
Ms Bygrave said that she believed the property had been specifically targeted and how her young son was luckily not home at the time. The family have been forced to change the locks out of fear.
Ms Bygrave said after the attackers fled, she ran outside and called the police and one of her neighbours told her the thugs had made off in a blue Vauxhall Insignia.
Ms Bygrave’s son (left) now carries a baseball bat around the house. Her brother Andrew (right) was held at knifepoint
After two thieves broke into the house, another two hooded brazen thugs followed in behind
Around two minutes after breaking into the home, the thieves then left the house with the money
CCTV footage showed them fleeing the house and sprinting away. Neighbours the thugs had made off in a blue Vauxhall Insignia
The mother, who has had just four hours of sleep since the terrifying ordeal, said that the ‘distraught’ family are having to ‘start all over again’ after the inheritance money was stolen.
‘It was inheritance money from my dad who passed away three years ago,’ Ms Bygrave said.
‘The money is for my brother, part of the money was to get a disabled car for my mum to get her out of the house. Also, some of the money is for my dogs to get an operation that’s got breathing problems as well. Now that’s money gone it’s like where do we go.’
She added: ‘It’s a targeted attack – only a few people know about the safe… I don’t feel safe in the house anymore.’
Ms Bygrave said that her mother Angela, 61, had only just been discharged from hospital but has been re-admitted as result of the stressful encounter, while she and her son are still recovering.
‘I’m still scared to go outside the house,’ she said. ‘My son sleeps with the baseball bat next to him, he’s got special needs, and he still walks round the house with the baseball bat.
‘All our normal activities have almost come to a stop. It wasn’t until I looked back at the CCTV camera that I realised exactly what had happened. Reality hasn’t hit yet.
‘Seeing the knives and the crowbar as well – that’s my brother. My brother was up there on his own, the way he is with the autism, it’s like oh my god.’
Ms Bygrave added: ‘My son, we have to reassure it’s safe he’s checking every lock of the door and he’s on tenterhooks. Me, I can’t go out anywhere I’m just watch my back and thinking people are following me.’
Reflecting on the period since her father’s death, Ms Bygrave said: ‘We’ve had a rough three years. Having this happen, we just didn’t need it at all.’
MailOnline has contacted West Midlands Police for comment.
If you know anything about the incident, please contact West Midlands Police quoting reference number 20/589980/23 of July 28.
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