CASTLEFORD Tigers’ star Dean Widders spoke of his shock after burglars raided his home while his children slept upstairs.
Thieves broke into the 31-year-old’s house on Redhill Road, Airedale – stealing a car and a child’s bike – between 2am and 3am last Wednesday.
The forward, who joined the Wheldon Road club in 2009, said: “It’s disappointing.
“This is the third time we have had stuff stolen, but I think it’s just random. Before it was a bike and a barbecue from outside.
“This is the first time they’ve broken in.
“The worst thing is knowing they were in our house going through our stuff and thinking that the children were asleep at the time.”
Yobs forced open a door or window to ransack the house while Dean, his wife and children slept upstairs.
The player, who will be leaving the club to return to his native Australia to join Gold Coast Titans at the end of this season, said he didn’t realise anything had happened until waking up later that morning.
He said: “I noticed that the door and window were open, but I thought the children might have been playing out the back, but then we checked around and noticed things were missing.
“I didn’t realise the car had gone until one of the kids pointed it out.
“It’s the inconvenience more than anything else.
“The car wasn’t worth a great deal, but we are having to walk everywhere now.”
The thieves stole the family’s blue Renault Megane off the drive – licence plate number NV51 8VR – as well as a mountain bike belonging to Dean’s 11-year-old son, also called Dean.
They also took a few low-value children’s items.
Dean told followers on micro-blogging website Twitter about what had happened, writing: “Someone’s stolen my car, broke into our house and stole my son’s bike and walked through house stealing.”
He appealed to people in Castleford to look out for the stolen goods and later tweeted a message to his followers: “I’m lucky none of kids were hurt, my car wasn’t worth heaps and my kids’ stuff wouldn’t be able to take on plane anyway, others far worse off.”
He added: “It was good to see how many people were supportive, people from lots of different Super League clubs.”
West Yorkshire Police confirmed they are investigating the burglary and appealed for anyone with information to come forward.
Witnesses or anyone with information should call police on 0845 6060606 or Crimestoppers, in confidence, on 0800 555111.