Thousands raised for Hainault family after burglars stole their Christmas presents
PUBLISHED: 17:00 23 December 2019
A Hainault family whose home was ransacked by burglars the week before Christmas have been gifted more than £2,700 from friends, family and anonymous donors to help replace the family car and stolen presents.
Hayley Laird's home was broken into in the early hours of Thursday, December 19, but the family didn't realise until they noticed the car was missing from the driveway and the door had been locked from the outside.
Hayley, her partner Geoff and two young children were asleep when burglars broke down the front door and stole £2,500 worth of presents from under the tree and also her car from the driveway.
"It must be about £2,500 worth of presents," the mum-of-two said. "And there were personalised presents which took a few weeks to come and can't be made again. I had sacks for my nieces and kids and they don't understand why they won't have presents.
"Christmas is my favourite time of year - my family call me Mrs Santa. All my hard work was taken."
Hayley said the thieves moved her partner's black cab and parked it down the road, before taking her Renault Captur, which had her hairdressing equipment and disabled badge inside.
But Hayley and her family have been offered a glimmer of hope after a crowdfunding campaign set up by Hayley's sister, Samantha, raised £2,735 to get the family back on their feet.
Donations have come from far and wide, with some of the funds even coming from anonymous donors.
"It's just amazing, I'm overwhelmed," Hayley, who is four months pregnant, told the Recorder. "There are some horrible people out here - but there are clearly also some lovely people out there.
"It's going to be hard over the next couple of weeks to get back to normal, but thanks to those people, I can still have a Christmas.
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"We are as a family overwhelmed and amazed by people's generosity.
"My daughter's friends have also donated. It's unbelievably kind.
"Even if it was 50p, they are going out of their way to give me something. I'm so thankful."
Hayley, 37, also praised the police for their kindness.
"The police officers have been so kind," she said. "I was in a state and they were so helpful.
"They are quite positive they will get my car back. I'm hoping the burglars will look at some of the presents and not want them and leave them in the car."
But Hayley said her children, 10-year-old Arthur and 13-year-old Beau, have been left shaken by the incident and urged homeowners to take steps to secure their homes this festive season.
"It's sad that you have to do these things, but close your curtains and don't put your presents under the tree," she said.
"Don't put pictures on Facebook of presents and be vigilant and make sure your house is secure. Also take stuff out of your car and get home insurance."
A spokesman for the Met Police said no arrests have been made and enquiries are ongoing.
If you would like to help the Laird family, you can donate here.