Burglars barricaded the boss of a farm village complex inside his own home during a raid on a jewellery studio in which gold bullion were stolen.
Roger Mason this week relived the ordeal in which he was trapped inside his house on the Greenlands Farm Village site at Tewitfield near Carnforth after the burglars wedged his garden table and a rock against the front door handle.
They then broke the locks on the door of the Macmillan Clare Designer Goldsmiths studio and workshop before stealing two safes containing tens of thousands of pounds worth of gold bullion, platinum, rings, necklaces and earrings.
Police believe they made their escape in a vehicle following the raid, which happened at around 8.30pm on Wednesday, November 7.
“I was having something to eat and thinking back my border terrier Mouse sensed something was happening or heard a noise because she jumped up from where she was,” said Roger, who is the managing director of Greenland Farm Limited.
“But I didn’t think anything of it until an hour later when I went to go outside to check the site as normal.
“As soon as I put my coat on to open the door I could see that I was barricaded inside so that I couldn’t drop the door handle.
“I was shocked. I was shaking the door and eventually I was able to get out and I then saw three police cars.”
Police and the owners of the goldsmiths, married couple Tony Clare and Fenella Macmillan, who live nearby, had already been alerted to the raid by the burglar alarm.
The previous Sunday evening, Roger, 55, had alerted police after hearing the cafe door being rattled and he now believes the burglars may have been carrying out a ‘recce’.
“The police told me that had I come out of the house after the dog had jumped up the story could have been quite different – goodness knows what they could have done.
“I am feeling unnerved by what has happened and less confident than I was before.
“We had taken all the security measures we thought were necessary but now we will have to review them.”
Fenella said: “Obviously this is a really difficult time for us, but we are working as hard as we can to get back to business as usual and we hope to be up and running as soon as possible before Christmas.”
She added that the studio remained open.
Tony added: “The support we have had from the police, the security and insurance companies has been great.
“In particular we would like to thank the local community for their wonderful support at this very difficult time.”
Det Cons Tristan Hardwick said it was unclear how many people were involved in the raid. He appealed for witnesses who had seen anyone acting suspiciously in the area to come forward by contacting police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or at Crimestoppers-uk.org.