Beds, Herts & Bucks

Thieves burgled Dunbavands' empty Northchurch home days after deaths

Janette Dunbavand Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption Former mayor Janette Dunbavand was found dead, alongside her husband John, at their home in Hertfordshire

Thieves burgled the home of a couple just days after they were found dead.

The bodies of Janette and John Dunbavand, both 81, were discovered at their detached cottage in Northchurch, Hertfordshire, just before 08:00 GMT on Friday 22 March.

Mrs Dunbavand had been a mayor of Berkhamsted, while her husband was a former Conservative councillor.

Police said they were not looking for anyone else in connection with their deaths.

Hertfordshire Police said the "callous" thieves struck sometime between Sunday afternoon and Monday morning.

Among the items stolen was an iPad, a men's Omega watch and a gold pocket watch.

Other jewellery taken included rings, bracelets and necklaces belonging to the couple, police said.

Image copyright sbna
Image caption Thieves stole jewellery and other valuables from the couple's home days after their death

Det Sgt Donna Norris said: "We believe that the thieves responsible for this burglary knew the property was unoccupied following news of the couple's death.

"This is an act of staggering callousness which has obviously further upset John and Janette's loved ones who are already going through an extremely traumatic and difficult time."

Police said security had been reviewed at the home, with the property now occupied.

The couple have a daughter living in Australia and a son who lived locally.

Mrs Dunbavand, who had dementia, served as the mayor of Berkhamsted for a year from 1994 and was a director of Hertfordshire Building Preservative Trust until 1999.

The couple were both former directors of Berkhamsted School Enterprises Limited.

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