CRUEL crooks targeted a 93-year-old's home and stole his late wife's ashes.

Thieves broke into Eric Doubleday's property, in London Road, Abridge, whilst he was asleep at about 5am on Sunday, April 11.

They stole a number of items from the home including a mahogany wooden box containing his 91-year-old wife Doris’ ashes.

The box had a plaque on the lid which reads ‘Doris Marie Doubleday 1930-2021’.

The couple’s granddaughter Ella Terry said: “My grandparents had been married for over 70 years.

“We only lost my nan in February this year so to now have had her ashes stolen is even more heart-breaking.

“The other items stolen were just material things.

“Obviously we would like to get everything back but if we could choose only one, it would be nan’s ashes.

“This has broken my grandad’s heart, along with all of us as a family.

“Not only are we still grieving her loss, we now have been left without her ashes.”

A box similar to the one containing the ashes

A box similar to the one containing the ashes

Essex Police are investigating the theft and looking to trace the culprits.

Police Constable Thomas Tod said: “To do this to a family who are already grieving is devastating and cruel.

“We are progressing our enquiries and will do everything we can to bring people to justice.

“I urge anyone who saw or heard anything in the area at the time, or has any information, to please contact us.”

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If you can help, contact Loughton CID quoting reference 42/65250/21.

You can submit a report online at or use the 'Live Chat' button to speak to an online operator between 7am-11pm.

Alternatively, you can call 101.

Information can also be given to independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or