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Callous thieves strike in Lowestoft home

PUBLISHED: 09:07 26 June 2009 | UPDATED: 10:25 06 July 2010

CALLOUS thieves have left a Lowestoft family devastated after they stole a special communication device which has been a lifeline for a severely autistic nine-year-old boy.

CALLOUS thieves have left a Lowestoft family devastated after they stole a special communication device which has been a lifeline for a severely autistic nine-year-old boy.

Maria Forwood and her partner Steve Jackson, 41, this week called for the equipment to be returned for the sake of their young son Adam.

The heartbroken couple were still trying to come to terms with the break-in after their home was burgled for the second time in a year.

But Sunday's theft was even more disturbing after burglars fled with a £2,500 Tellus Smart handheld aid, which is vital to their special needs child and worthless to others.

Thieves broke into the Forwood's house in Salisbury Road between 10.30am and 2.50pm on Sunday. And as well as stealing the palm sized portable communications aid, the burglars fled with a gold engagement ring, a mobile phone, Ipod and two games consoles - a Nintendo Wii and DS.

The 6in x 3in grey touch screen device, which was in a black case, was specially adapted for their son Adam, who uses the aid to communicate.

Mrs Forwood, 42, admitted this equipment was “everything” to the family.

“With Adam not being able to talk we can show him things and communicate on this aid, while he can explain what he wants as well as it is specifically adapted to his needs,” she said.

“Before he got the communication aid he was quite a troubled little boy as he would get frustrated at not being able to get his point across. We've only had the equipment three months, but in this time there has been a major improvement in Adam.

Since the family had the equipment, the Warren Special School - which Adam attends - have also seen a marked improvement in the youngster.

The aid also contains the youngster's education and work.

“It has affected his schooling as he was doing so well,” Mrs Forwood said. “It breaks your heart knowing that it has been taken and those responsible have no use for it - you can't play computer games on it.”

Police are also appealing for the return of the device and spokesman Anne-Marie Breach said: “This theft is particularly callous. It is a vitally important piece of equipment for the family and we would ask those responsible to return it.”

Information should be directed to Lowestoft CID on 01986 835300.

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