The family of Tottenham Hotspur's Jan Vertonghen were robbed at knifepoint inside their London home on Tuesday night while the defender was in Leipzig on Champions League duty. Police have confirmed that they are investigating the incident but have made no arrests.
The player’s wife, Sophie de Vries, and their two young children were at their home in Hampstead when four men wearing balaclavas broke in shortly before 8pm – the time Tottenham’s match, in which Vertonghen was an unused substitute, was kicking off.
“They were masked and carrying weapons, including knives and machetes, and demanded to know where the cash and valuables were,” a club source told the Express.
“Jan’s wife was obviously terrified and did as she was told. Thankfully I don’t believe anyone was hurt. The police carried out a scene examination. Some officers did door-to-door checks to warn people and ask if anyone had seen anything as Jan’s family were not the only victims and at least one neighbour had been targeted too.”
The attack was the latest in a string of robberies in which footballers and their families have been targeted, and came only weeks after the Wimbledon house rented by the Crystal Palace defender Mamadou Sakho was burgled.
Vertonghen's home is close both to where Arsenal's Sead Kolasinac and Mesut Özil were attacked by carjackers last July, and to the house of the former Spurs forward Ronny Rosenthal, which was robbed last May by a group of men wearing masks and holding machetes, while Rosenthal and his wife were at home.
“Police were called to a residential address in NW3 at 7.49pm on 10 March to a report of a burglary,” said a Metropolitan Police spokesman. “Officers attended. It was reported four men wearing balaclavas, armed with knives, had forced entry to the property and stolen a number of items before leaving. Nobody was injured. The suspects had left the scene before officers arrived. There have been no arrests and inquiries continue.”
A Spurs spokesperson said: “We have been supporting Jan and his family through this terribly traumatic time. We encourage anyone who has any information to come forward to help the police with their investigation.” – Guardian