A HEARTLESS burglar stole military service medals belonging to three generations of a family.

A devastated family found a raider had smashed the back door to get inside, rampaging through the home in Buckerills, Pitsea, and pocketed £2,800 of valuables.

Among the stolen loot was nine service medals belonging to the resident, his father and grandfather.

The 52-year-old man, who asked not to be named, said he was sickened by the burglar, who also took his wife’s engagement and eternity rings during the afternoon raid.

He said: “I had to go to London for a consultation, so I left the house to catch the train.

“I thought nothing of it and we have just had new double glazing fitted in July.

“They’d tried to jemmy the back door but it didn’t work, so they kicked in a door panel.

“It's upsetting because the medals are extremely precious to me and they don’t have a big value.

“I wear them at ceremonies on my father’s and grandfather’s behalf along with my own.”

The victim’s medals were his Royal Navy Long Service and Good Conduct medal, and Queen’s Silver Jubilee medal.

Five of his father’s medals were taken, including an Africa Star medal and a Royal Navy Long Service and Good Conduct medal.

Two of his grandfather’s medals were stolen, the British Empire medal and the Imperial Service medal.

The callous crook also took two iPods and about 80 Euros in cash.

The raid took place between 1.30pm and 5.15pm on Thursday last week.

Police now want residents’ help to track down the criminal who may try to sell the medals and other goods.

Anyone with information has been asked to call detectives at Pitsea on 0300 3334444 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.