Dorset landslip: Burglars target home of Rosemary Snell

Rosemary Snell -
Image caption Rosemary Snell was a member of the Women's Institute

Thieves have targeted the home of a woman who died when she was buried under a landslip.

Rosemary Snell and Michael Rolfe, from Somerset, were found inside their car near Beaminster Tunnel in Dorset on Monday last week.

Police have revealed that burglars have stolen Ms Snell's antique silver collection from her home near Crewkerne, Somerset.

The theft happened days after the discovery of the couple's bodies.

Ms Snell, 67, and Mr Rolfe, 72, from Fivehead, near Taunton, were killed on 7 July when their Skoda was flattened in a tunnel by hundreds of tonnes of mud and rubble.

They lay dead for 10 days until rescue crews uncovered their car at the entrance to the tunnel.

'Despicable crime'

Police used mobile phone and credit card records to track them to the area after the couple had been reported missing.

Avon and Somerset Police said the burglary happened overnight between 20 and 21 July.

Image caption One of the stolen antiques is similar to the piece pictured

Officers fear the Women's Institute stalwart's property, including silver antiques, could be sold at car boot sales and antique fairs.

Det Ch Insp Pete Warren said: "This is a despicable crime that has been committed by someone who may have deliberately targeted the property following the national media coverage.

"The offenders forced entry at the rear of the property and took specific items that are of antique value."

He asked anyone who may have information to come forward, and urged members of the public to report any sale of antique silver items to the force.

"We have increased patrols in the area but would also ask the community to report anyone acting suspiciously to us," he added.

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