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Thief targets Liverpool star Lucas Leiva

by Tony McConville. Published Thu 06 Nov 2008 17:17
Lucas Leiva
Lucas Leiva

Lucas Leiva has become the EIGHTH Liverpool soccer star to fall victim to a "Football Phantom" burglar.

The Brazilian international was targeted by a housebreaker while he was at Anfield appearing in the Reds' 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid on Tuesday evening.

Detectives confirmed Leiva, 21, was away from his home in Woolton when valuables were stolen including a footballing bronze medal from the 2008 Bejing Olympics.

Leiva dialled 999 to report the crime just after 11.30pm when he returned home with his girlfriend.

Forensic teams carried-out a detailed examination at the scene of the crime scene and house-to-house enquires were taking place in the area around Woolton Hill Road.

Acting Det Chief Inpsector Peter Parry said: "I would like to empathise to Mr Leiva and his partner for what must have been a very upsetting experience.

"As with every burglary victim, we will be carrying out a thorough investigation and offering them crime prevention advice.

"Taken from the address was an amount of jewellery and some very distinctive football and sports memorabilia.

"These items have significant personal importance to Mr Leiva and they were associated with some very cherished memories.

"I'd also ask members of the public to be on the look-out in case they are offered such items for sale either on the street or in pubs or on for sale on the internet.

"Any information could be of vital assistance to us."

The items stolen include an Olympic Bronze Medal from this year's Beijing Olympics.

The medal has 'Beijing Olympics 2008' on one side and a picture of a footballer
kicking a ball on the other.

Also taken were a collection of Brazilian football shirts with the name 'Lucas' on the back. Each shirt has a different number on it.

A collection of Liverpool football shirts with the name 'Lucas' on the back and all with the number 21 on the back.

Eight Liverpool players have had their homes burgled over the last three years with Robbie Keane being the most recent victim before Leiva.

Club captain and England midfielder Steven Gerrard was given extra security after raiders broke into his Formby home last December.

Gerrard was away playing a Champions League match in Marseilles when four men broke in and confronted his wife, Alex Curran.

Liverpool FC keeper Pepe Reina was burgled while helping Liverpool secure a place in the Champions League final against Chelsea in May 2008.

A number of high value items were stolen from Reina's #700,000 mansion in Woolton and his Porsche Cayenne was also taken.

The grey-coloured car - which has Spanish number plates - was found burnt-out in the West Derby area of the city hours after the robbery.

Striker Dirk Kuyt's house, also in the Woolton area, was ransacked in November 2007 while the forward was on international duty with Holland.

Peter Crouch and Daniel Agger both had their homes ransacked while playing at Anfield against Galatasaray in a Champions League qualifier in September 2006.

In June 2006 Liverpool's Champions League hero Jerzy Dudek was burgled while on holiday in his native Poland.

Among the stolen items from his home in Caldy, Wirral, was his Champions League winners medal from the 2005 final.

* In December 2006 James Birch, then aged 20, from Tuebrook, Liverpool, admitted burglary at the home of Jerzy Dudek in Caldy along with five other similar offences at the homes of footballers.

His victims were Peter Crouch, Daniel Agger, Florent Sinama-Pongolle and Everton's Tony Hibbert and Andy Van der Meyde.

Birch was sentenced to two and a half years for the crimes in which he stole goods, including cars, with a value of more than #600,000.

Anyone with information about the incident or about latest burglary are asked to contact Admiral Street CID on 0151 709 6010 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


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