A businessman has offered a £10,000 reward for help catching intruders who burgled his home and escaped with jewellery worth £25,000. Jake Caratella, who says he is making inquiries across Leicester in the search for the people who targeted his home, hopes the cash will help police catch the burglars. Recently £10,000 in cash and a written apology was left on his doorstep – a sign, he believes, that the intruders are rattled. The 53-year-old former nightclub doorman, who now works as a property investor, returned from a trip to Bangkok in January last year to discover burglars had smashed his security alarm and ransacked his home in Allerton Drive, off Groby Road, Leicester. The haul of jewellery they escaped with included an 18 carat gold ring with a diamond, a Rolex watch, a Breitling watch and Masonic jewellery. It was the seventh time Mr Caratella had been burgled in the 12 years he has lived there. He said: "Having suffered more than enough, I decided to conduct my own investigations to see what I could discover. "It seems as though my efforts are bearing some reward and I feel that I am getting very close to the identity of the perpetrators." He added: "In December 2005, I had a major break-in, where the burglars removed the wall safe and took it away with them, leaving a big hole in the wall. "The freestanding floor safe was smashed open and in total I lost around £50,000 worth of gold and jewellery, for which I was not insured due to high premiums. "I'm still very bitter about this loss as my unique jewellery had a substantial sentimental value. "Gold prices have increased at least five times, which at today's value would have been worth in the region of a quarter of a million pounds." The other break-ins were "minor" matters where intruders had broken into outbuildings, Mr Caratella said. He was devastated by the latest break-in, which happened shortly after 8pm on Saturday, January 7 last year. Mr Caratella has distributed a leaflet in his neighbourhood and placed an appeal in the Leicester Mercury to appeal for help. He has also spoken to contacts in the security industry and from his time as a nightclub doorman in his search for the intruders. "Unfortunately I was not insured again due to high premiums, hence I had high security at my premises, such as a state-of-the-art alarm, CCTV covering the full premises, and the perimeter secured by high gates," he said. "I am determined to get to the bottom of this and catch the burglars responsible." Police today released a CCTV image of a man they want to trace. Pc Adam Goodenough said: "This has been an incredibly lengthy and detailed investigation, made even more complex by the fact that £10,000 was left at Mr Caratella's home. "This isn't the first time that Mr Caratella has been the victim of a burglary and although it has been a year since the last incident took place, we are still determined to find those responsible." Information about the break-in or the man in the CCTV image can be passed to Pc Goodenough on 101 or Crimestoppers, which is anonymous, on 0800 555 111.
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