A DISTRAUGHT family are appealing for help to catch the people who burgled their house and crashed their car on New Year’s Eve.

Their home in Sutton Park Avenue, Colchester,  was burgled overnight between December 31 and January 1 while a father and daughter slept upstairs.

The suspects got in through the back door.

They stole a silver Toshiba laptop and silver iPod along with the keys to the family’s silver Volkswagen Sharan before searching the garage and shed as well.

The car was driven down the road, stopping off for the criminals to take a yellow and a black mountain bike from another property, and away.

A white man, aged in his mid 20s, was seen loading the two mountain bikes into the car at about 5am before driving off.

It was found abandoned and possibly written off in Alexandra Road, having been involved in a crash, but the burglars were gone.

Anyone who saw the burglary, the bikes being taken, a silver Volkswagen Sharan in the early hours of the morning, the crash or the car being abandoned call Det Con Hannah Richardson at Colchester police station on 101.

See the full story and interview with the family in Wednesday's Gazette.