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Barking dog alerts family to burglary attempt at Minster home

By Chloe Holmwood

A mother at home with her children was alerted to a would-be burglar by her barking dog in the early hours.

Bobbie Richards, of Lapwing Close, Minster, said her three-year-old American bulldog Skyla had started barking shortly after 4am yesterday.

The 38-year-old was in bed at home with her four children - Kayne, 18, Shania, 12, Billy, 11, and Levi, four - daughter-in-law Chelsey Taylor and one-year-old granddaughter Isabelle.

WATCH: Man caught on CCTV trying to break into a house in Minster, Sheppey.

She said: “I was woken up by my dog barking, but I don’t just mean any bark – this was a different kind of bark, like an aggressive, ‘hurry up someone and help me’ bark.

“As I went to get out of bed to see what was going on, Chelsey shouted out to me that someone was in our house.

“I kept the children in their bedrooms, so I knew they were safe, and me and Chelsey walked down the stairs.

“I didn’t have a clue what we were going to be faced with; it was frightening.”

Bobbie Richards with her pet Skyla
Bobbie Richards with her pet Skyla

The mother-of-five added: “As we got to the bottom of the stairs, Chelsey saw someone dive out of the window - I was behind her on the stairs.

“We didn’t know whether they had been in the house or anything. The first thing I thought was ‘oh my God, what have they taken?’ I thought I was going to get downstairs and have nothing left.

“They didn’t take anything though; I owe Skyla a big treat because if she didn’t bark and wake us up anything could have happened.”

Miss Richards said her kitchen window was closed but its latch “wasn’t down fully”. She is now urging other Island residents to make sure every window and door to their properties are locked.

The suspected burglar was caught on CCTV footage
The suspected burglar was caught on CCTV footage

“Last night, my children wouldn’t go to bed on their own,” she said.

“They had to sleep in my room because they were scared.”

“I just want to tell people to definitely keep their windows, doors and, even, sheds locked at all times of the day; whether they are at home or out.

“All I keep hearing about at the moment is that people are having their homes broken into, but they seem to be causing more damage and are scaring families rather than actually taking anything.

“It’s crazy.”

Lapwing Close, Minster
Lapwing Close, Minster

Miss Richards took to Facebook to share CCTV footage of the suspected burglar trying to break into her home.

She said: “You can see he stands at the top of the garden for a long while, looking at all the houses on the road.

“Then he walks down my drive and it takes him around five minutes to get the window open.

“You can see the window opens and he disappears from view; that’s when you can hear the dog barking and a short while later he literally dives out of the window, falls on the floors and then scarpers along the garden.”

Miss Richards said the suspect was wearing a hoodie and a baseball cap. She believed he was aged in his 30s.

Police have been informed about the incident.

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