‘I feel violated’: Banking heiress Kate Rothschild tells of her shock after burglars stole £500,000 of jewellery including her engagement ring in raid while her boys were at home
- Kate Rothschild’s sons and their babysitter sleeping upstairs in Barnes mansion
- Heiress couldn’t get into bedroom of £3.5m because it was locked from inside
- Her boyfriend climbed through window and found £500,000 of jewels gone
- Ex-husband Ben Goldsmith has offered a reward to find those responsible
Burglary victim Kate Rothschild said she felt her personal space had been violated following a £500,000 theft from her family home.
But the banking heiress added she is relieved that nobody was hurt in the break-in while two of her children and the babysitter slept.
Burglars scaled a back wall to get into her bedroom at the £3.5million property in Barnes, south-west London.
They fled with a large jewellery box containing all her valuables, including an antique diamond dragonfly brooch and wedding and engagement rings.
Burglars have stolen £500,000 of jewels from the £3.5m mansion of banking heiress Kate Rothschild including her engagement ring as her children and a babysitter slept upstairs
The 35-year-old returned from a night out with boyfriend, entrepreneur Paul Forkan last Thursday, to find that she could not get into her room.
It emerged the burglars had locked the door from the inside and Mr Forkan had to climb through a bedroom window to get in and unlock it.
They then found a pink jewellery box had been taken which contained the gems, including the rings from her former marriage to environmentalist Ben Goldsmith.
Today, Mr Goldsmith, who has three children with his former wife, two of whom were in the house at the time, confirmed intruders took her wedding and engagement rings.
They also snatched special items from when she was growing up and from her father and grandmother.
The thieves took this stunning shaped single stone engagement ring in a platinum setting from her relationship with Ben Goldsmith
This antique diamond and plique à jour enamel dragonfly brooch was also taken from the house
This unique gold bracelet with heart charms was part of the £500,000 haul
Items stolen during the Kate Rothschild raid included these diamond and jeweled retro bracelets
Mr Goldsmith said: ‘I have spoken to her a lot. She is really sad at the things that have been lost.
‘She feels like her personal space has been violated. But she is relieved no one is hurt.
‘My sons Frank, 12, and 10-year-old Isaac were asleep, along with the babysitter at the time.
‘I am also very relieved that nobody was hurt or terrified during the incident as it happened.
‘The guy made away with a bunch of stuff that means a lot to my ex-wife, me and the children.
‘That’s very sad, but it is a huge relief no one was hurt or terrified, and I hope they catch the guy.
‘They took every single thing of value that Kate has, her wedding ring, engagement ring, everything I gave her during our marriage, special things from when she was a teenager, things from her father and her grandmother.
‘These are things that should have been passed on to our daughter Iris, and to her daughter.
‘I hope we get them back. I can’t imagine the kind of person that breaks into women’s bedrooms to steal their most precious things.
‘I will pay a reward to anyone with useful information.’
He confirmed the burglars had stolen a pink Thomas Goode box containing jewellery as the Miss Rothschild and Mr Forkan spent the evening at a book launch for A Love of Eating by columnist Jemima Jones, who is married to Mr Goldsmith.
Items which were stolen include a gold, ruby and diamond retro bracelet, an antique diamond dragonfly brooch, and a gold four-row tracelink chain bracelet.
Katya Hills, managing director of The Watch Register which is part of the Art Loss Register private database tracking stolen art and jewellery, said the break-in was most likely well planned.
She added the ‘hot’ jewellery would have been sold on for just a fraction of its true worth to crime bosses.
But the pieces were unlikely to be broken up into individual gems as the jewellery was worth more intact.
Eventually the stolen items will make their way onto the legitimate market, she added.
‘It was a high-profile burglary, targeting someone who is very well known and was obviously extremely wealthy.
‘You get the same kind of thefts from footballers – so it’s obviously targeted, so more likely to be carried out by criminals who knew what they were doing.
‘It’s not so much the opportunistic thieves who tend to target people in the street, galleries or museums – I would say this is more targeted, so carried out by organised criminal groups.
‘A clever thief would take it as far away from the theft as possible. For example to take it to a country where it’s not likely to be known.
Thieves took her engagement and wedding rings from her marriage to Ben Goldsmith (pictured in 2003) from her £3.5 million mansion (right)
‘I know some images of the stolen jewellery have been published which will make it harder to sell it on.
‘I would not imagine they would dismantle the jewellery and break it into pieces because it would lose a lot of its value if they did so.
‘Especially pieces which are bespoke creations – it would not be helpful for them to break the pieces down.
‘With pieces like this, firstly it’s jewellery, so it’s less distinctive than things like high-value pictures which are recognised the world over. Jewellery is easier to offload because it’s less unique.
‘Normally thieves will try to sell it on as soon as possible after the theft so I would expect it may well have changed hands already. We’ve had a week now so I would expect that it’s probably been sold on already.
‘It may have been sold on to someone who is fully aware of the theft and is able to then shift it on to someone else.
‘These kinds of things where it’s very expensive pieces tend to remain in the criminal underworld for sometime before they surface on the legitimate market.
‘So it would probably be private deals who are not acting in good faith and who are probably aware from where the pieces are coming from and it would probably be sold for a fraction of the true value of the items.
‘It’s very difficult to say but a small percentage I would say of its true value.
‘As they reach the more legitimate markets the prices would tend to go up and that’s also an indicator that the buyer and the seller do not believe there’s a problem about with its providence.’
Entrepreneur Mr Forkan was forced to climb through an open window and found the robbers had locked the door from the inside having climbed a rear wall to arrive and leave the crime scene.
This box contained ‘everything precious’ his girlfriend owned including her engagement and wedding rings from her marriage to Ben Goldsmith, the environmentalist brother of MP Zac and son of late billionaire financier Sir James.
A valuable diamond dragonfly brooch was also taken in the raid, which left little sign of a break-in, according to the Evening Standard.
Ben told the newspaper: ‘They took every single thing of value Kate has, her wedding ring, engagement ring, everything I gave her during our marriage, special things from when she was a teenager, things from her father and her grandmother.
‘These things should have been passed on to our daughter Iris, and to her daughter. I hope they catch this person. I hope we get these things back. I can’t imagine the kind of person that breaks into women’s bedrooms to steal their most precious things. I will pay a reward to anyone with useful information’.
Ms Rothschild and her businessman are unavailable for comment.
Kate Rothschild emerges with the family dog and US rapper J Electronica after she split with husband Ben Goldsmith in 2013
A neighbour said most people in the street had good security, but others in the area had been targeted before.
The woman, who asked not to be named, said: ‘Of course it’s very worrying, when you hear something like that happen on your street.
‘Most properties around here have very good security. There have been some break-ins in the area over the last few years.’
John Chick, who said he had lived in the area for 17 years, said: ‘People have a few alarms around here, but break-ins are rare.
‘There was one across the road around 14 years ago, but that was the last I think.’
The back front door has heavy iron gates at the front of the brick wall entrance. The tidy front garden has a fence and trees behind the front gates.
Scotland Yard has confirmed they are investigating the burglary and also made an appeal.
A spokesman said: ‘Police are investigating a burglary at a residential address in SW13.
‘The incident was reported to have taken place between the evening of April 18 and the morning of April 19. A quantity of jewellery was stolen’.
There have been no arrests.
Police have recently warned about burglars targeting high end properties in wealthy suburbs after a sharp rise in break-ins.
Kate’s life in recent years has taken several extraordinary turns.
First she stunned her friends by walking away from her husband in 2013 and their respectable high-society life to pursue her affair musician Jay Electronica.
The couple divorced in 65 seconds on the grounds of Kate’s adultery.
A year later it emerged that Kate, then 33, was believed to be stepping out with a music producer from Watford who records under the cheeky moniker of Naughty Boy.
Ms Rothschild, pictured with rapper Professor Green, Paris Hilton and musician Example, says she discovered the burglary when returning home with her boyfriend
Kate Rothschild had said the rapper had ‘saved my life in many ways’, although they would later split up.
She has since found love with Paul Forkan, the founder of the Gandys Flip Flops and clothing business used by Prince William and others where ten per cent of profits go to a charity for orphans.
He was inspired to launch the business with his brother Rob after the deaths of their parents in the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami that hit south-east Asia.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Kingston Police via 101 quoting CAD521/19Apr. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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