Armed men break into Mark Cavendish's family home during aggravated burglary

The British rider was recovering from his Ghent Six crash at his family home in Essex, when burglars broke in with weapons

Mark Cavendish burglary
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Mark Cavendish has shared details of an aggravated burglary that occurred in November at his home in Essex, during which he was assaulted and his wife threatened. 

Cavendish suffered two broken ribs and a collapsed lung following a heavy crash at the Six Days of Ghent on Sunday 21 November, and subsequently spent multiple days in ICU in Ghent University Hospital, before returning home to continue his recovery. 

Less than a week after returning though, four armed men broke into Cavendish's house on Saturday 27 November, with the police called at 2:35am that morning. 

Cavendish says the group assaulted him, before threatening his wife. The couple's children were also in the house and witnessed the events. Fortunately, none of the family sustained serious physical injuries. 

Among the items stolen was a Louis Vuitton suitcase and two high-value watches. The police have not made an arrest so far and are seeking witnesses. 

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Cavendish shared details of the incident on Twitter

He also said in a police statement: “As I’m sure you will understand, this incident has left our family extremely distressed – not just myself and Peta but our children as well, who feared for their lives and are now struggling with the after-effects. 

"No one should have to experience the sort of violence and threats made against us, let alone this happening in a family home – a place where everyone should feel safe.

“The items taken are simply material goods and our priority at the moment is to make sure we all recover from the incident as a family, and we know this is likely to take some time. 

“We would like to place on record our thanks to Essex Police for a really quick response and the professionalism and the focus they are clearly putting into the investigation.”

Detective Inspector Tony Atkin, who is the senior investigating officer on the case, said: “This was undoubtedly a targeted incident at the home of a celebrated British Olympian, who at the time was recovering from significant injuries resulting from a crash whilst competing, which was well publicised. Our investigation is moving along at pace and we are following a number of lines of inquiry as we seek to catch those responsible.

“Mr Cavendish and his wife were assaulted and threatened in their own home, in the presence of their young children, who witnessed these events. Thankfully, they are recovering, but the traumatic effect will be long standing.

“Today, we are releasing images of the people captured on CCTV fleeing the scene and we would urge anyone who recognises them to get in contact with us immediately.

“We are also releasing images of the suitcase and two watches which were stolen during the incident.

“It is likely the people who stole these items are attempting to offload them for sizeable sums of money and I would urge anyone who is being offered these items to please get in touch with us – they are stolen property.

“If you have been offered these items, please contact us immediately.”

Police are urging anyone with any information to contact Loughton CID on 101, quoting reference 42/275184/21.