HEARTLESS thieves targeted a house in Lyme Regis following the death of an elderly woman stealing 'irreplaceable and sentimental' items including a British Army medal.

Jewellery including a Durham Light Infantry Brooch, tie pin, a pair of Christian Dior earrings, silverware and a large bottle of whiskey were stolen from a house on Woodmead Road between Saturday, May 24 and Tuesday, May 27.

Police said thieves gained entry to the unoccupied property through a rear window.

The house belonged to 94-year-old Audri Fenner, who died just a few days earlier following a stroke.

Many of the items were collected or bought as family gifts by Audri's husband, Colonel David Fenner who served in the Second World War and died in 2008.

It comes as the town prepares to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

Daughter of Audri, Amanda Butler, said she was heartbroken when she visited the house following her mum's death and discovered items were missing.

She added: “It was another shock following on from mum passing away.

“Mum's details were in the phonebook and I believe our house was targeted.

“My parents moved to Lyme in the 1980's following dad's infantry retirement.”

The Durham Light Infantry (DLI) was an infantry regiment of the British Army from 1881 to 1968.

Amanda added that her father was the commanding officer of Durham's 6th Battalion, serving during and after the Second World War.

She said: “Sentimental items stolen were things that only mum could own; they are irreplaceable.

“Mum was a marvellous, strong woman; we recently talked about holidays but just three days later she was gone.

“If we ever did see those items again it would be wonderful, so if anyone has any information please let the police know.”

A funeral service for Mrs Fenner was held at Uplyme Parish Church on May 29 conducted by family friend Rev Jeremy White.

PC Kirsti Ball, Lyme's neighbourhood beat manager, is now urging homeowners and businesses to keep windows and doors secure.

She added: “We believe that the house in Woodmead Road was targeted.

“Security options include installing a timer switch, leaving a light on or making sure someone is available to visit the premises at different times of the day.

“If anyone has seen, or is offered, any of the jewellery taken from Woodmead Road or saw anything suspicious, please do contact us.”

Anyone with any information should contact Dorset Police on 101 or Crime Stoppers on 0800 555111.