Family 'terrified' as thieves lock them inside home

A family said they were left "terrified" when thieves screwed their front door shut while breaking into their van to steal an electric bike.

The ordeal happened shortly before midnight on Monday, as Helen Adams and her young child were asleep in their home in Bristol.

Her husband was awake at the time, and discovered the family had been trapped inside the property.

The family eventually climbed out of their windows and waited outside for the police to arrive.

“We feel terrified. Bristol doesn’t feel like a very safe city anymore," Mrs Adams said.

Despite the fact that the ground floor of their house is fitted with security alarms, none of them were triggered during the incident.

Mr Adams only realised what was happening when he heard noises coming from their driveway and opened the curtains.

'I feel terrified'

The back windscreen of their van had been smashed, and one e-bike which had been stored inside had been stolen.

Two others were damaged, Mrs Adams said.

When Mr Adams could not figure out why the front door would not open, he woke his wife.

"We couldn’t work out what happened or why we couldn’t get out the door," Mrs Adams said.

"[The thieves] obviously made it so if you heard them, you couldn’t get out.

"It would’ve been quite a different scenario should we have woken up to some form of emergency in the middle of the night and been unable to get out.

"There’s so many dangers," she added.

Although the van has been repaired, the couple say they have been left considering their living situation.

Two years ago, in the same house, thieves broke in and stole two e-bikes.

"It’s kind of become the crime of the UK - but it’s the length that they’re going to now," Mrs Adams said.

"If they’re trapping people in houses, this is a proper operation.”

She added; "I was really relieved that my husband was home because it took a very long time to be able to get the door open again.

"I feel terrified to think if I had been in the house on my own."

A spokesperson from Avon and Somerset Police said the incident is being investigated.

“The offenders smashed a window and stole a double suspension mountain e-bike, described as being wrapped in purple tape with some green showing," they said.

“CCTV enquiries have been carried out in the local area and it’s been flagged with the Neighbourhood Policing team."

Anybody who has seen an e-bike matching the description, or has information which could help the investigation, has been asked to contact the force.

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