BURGLARS emptied two little girls’ jewellery boxes while they were away watching Disney on Ice as part of a family treat.

The raiders plundered the “ballerina’’ boxes at the family’s home in The Pippins, Halstead.

The family-of-four had decided to stay over in London after watching the show at the O2 Arena.

They arrived home to discover their back patio door smashed and a number of irreplaceable heirlooms and gifts had been taken.

The 36-year-old dad, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: “What is particularly distressing is that they targeted the children’s bedrooms.

“The violation is immense, they were going into children’s rooms and they were clearly girls’ rooms.

“If we could get anything back, it would be the girls’ Christening presents.

“The sentimental value is far greater.”

“Never before have I appreciated the stress, the shock and the worry put upon families, particularly young families, by breakins.

“I feel helpless and just out of control of my family’s protection and, as a father, you don’t want to feel any of these things.”

The burglars escaped with silver bangles, crosses, St Christopher pendants and napkin rings, which were Christening presents.

The haul included a locket passed down from a grandmother, a Christening necklace given to the man’s wife and a Playstation 4.

The raiders also fled with costume jewellery and 12 sets of cufflinks, which had been passed down from a late, great-uncle and uncle.

The victim added the police had been good in handling the case.

Two PCSOs were at the scene within minutes of the break-in being reported.

Anyone with information about the burglary, which happened between 11.20am on January 2 and 8.30pm on January 3, is asked to call Braintree police station on 101.