Victims of a serial burglar who targeted the south-west London suburb of Wimbledon have said they are “constantly suspicious” as a result of the robberies.
They told a sentencing hearing they have installed locks, bolts and extra security, while others sacked their personal staff over suspicions they were to blame for the thefts.
Resident Claire Calnan said peace of mind “was the most valuable thing” thief Astrit Kapaj took when her house was robbed in 2014.
“The fact that the burglar must have been in the garden watching and waiting for me was particularly disturbing,” she said.
“For years after the burglar's last visit, every time I walked down my path to my door at night, I wondered if he was lying in wait, watching and waiting.”
Kasumi Deru was robbed in 2015, and told Kingston Crown Court she has since moved house.
“Our attachment to home has been eroded,” she said.
“Nothing will make me feel safe again.”
Rona Cruiskank had a £2,000 diamond ring and £1,000 necklace stolen in 2015 said she “feels like a prisoner” in her home.
“I have considered moving because I constantly feel under threat. My feelings of anxiety are with me at all times, especially when I am away from home,” she said.
The Wimbledon area was targeted by Kapaj between 2008 and 2019.
He has pleaded guilty to 26 offences after his crime spree was ended in February, and has been sentenced to 14 years in jail.
Police said he was able to avoid detection for so long because he repaired any damage he caused during the break-in and only stole small sums of valuables each time.
Kapaj has not told police what happened to the money or jewellery he stole, and detectives have been unable to track the items down.