A FAMILY-OF-FIVE has been left devastated after their home was raided in the middle of the night.

A teddy bear money box with a five-year-old boy's savings from his grandparents was snatched during the burglary.

Mother-of-three Michelle Sullivan has urged homeowners across Radcliffe to be vigilant after their property in the Outwood Road area was broken into using a "lock snapping" technique.

Miss Sullivan, aged 38, said: "I haven't been able to sleep since it happened.

"My youngest son's christening box, which contained money from his grandparents for when he is older, was taken. There was probably about £200 inside. They must have known it belonged to a child because it was a teddy bear and a train.

"We were all in bed asleep when it happened.

"Our car was taken. All of our drawers inside the house were rifled through. They had taken jewellery, iPads, everything they could get their hands on.

"It was all sentimental things."

Miss Sullivan claims her partner's company car, a new white BMW, and her 16-year-old's Hugo Boss watch, were stolen. Her son had purchased the item with his first pay packet after establishing his own business on leaving school last August.

The family said they have reported the burglary to the police, and forensic officers have attended the house to take evidence.

"Police found our back door lock in the garden", Miss Sullivan said. "They told us there was lots of this going on.

"They had used some kind of ratchet or tool to snap the bottom of the door handle which exposed the barrel. They then applied force and the lock had come out. It apparently takes them seven seconds to do.

"I would urge other homeowners to be vigilant. It is rife in this area at the moment and we want to prevent this."

The family have improved the security at their home since the break-in on Saturday, and are looking to add new alarms.

Police in Bury recently warned that there had been a rise in the number of burglaries involving lock snapping, which involves breaking a cylinder in two by applying force and exposing the internal mechanism.

Officers advised that residents purchase and fit anti-lock snapping barrels from an approved and registered locksmith.