"Violated" and "numb" are the words Ivy Linn uses to describe the feeling of being burgled.
The 73-year-old's Bell Block flat was broken into in broad daylight on Tuesday and a family heirloom was stolen.
Yesterday Linn told the Taranaki Daily News she was still feeling physically sick after the ordeal.
"It gave me a sinking feeling, I was shaking and shocked," she said. "You just feel violated and numb."
Linn left her home about 12.30pm and returned about 2 hours later.
"I went out and when I came home I noticed the doors were open. I knew exactly what had happened."
Her bedroom was ransacked. About $40 in cash and three rings were stolen.
"One was my grandma's engagement ring," she said.
The others were inexpensive dress rings.
Linn had locked her home when she left and a scene examination found burglars had broken in through a window, which was tested for fingerprints.
Forensic testing failed to uncover any fingerprints from the window, Senior Constable Vaughan Smith said.
The robbery of Linn's home was one of five recent burglaries Smith was investigating yesterday. Bell Block is among several areas in the region currently seeing a spike in burglar activity.
In yesterday's Daily News Senior Sergeant Thomas McIntyre said 54 homes and 89 commercial properties had been burgled in the last month.
Linn, who lives alone, said she felt her rights to a safe life had been taken away.
"We should be able to lock up and walk away without a worry, but they have taken that freedom away."
Linn said she wanted burglars to see how unsettled they made people's lives.
"These people need to realise the hurt they are causing other people."
- Taranaki Daily News