Burglars seized valuables worth up to £500 000 (R9.4 million) in a Christmas raid on Premier League defender Mamadou Sakho’s London home, which he rents from former footballer Nicolas Anelka, the Evening Standard reported on Friday.

Police issued an appeal over what it said only was “a high-value burglary” in the leafy south London neighbourhood of Wimbledon, close to the home of the famous tennis tournament, and released an image of a woman they would like to speak to.

“It is believed that two male suspects carried out this burglary, but we would like to speak to the woman as she was seen near the address on the day of the incident and may be able to assist us,” said Metropolitan Police spokesperson, Dean Shaw.

Police did not name the victims of the burglary, which occurred at around 13:30 on December 27, but London newspaper the Evening Standard identified them as Crystal Palace star Sakho, 29, and his family.

The former Liverpool player, who has 29 international caps, was away with his wife Majda and their three children, the daily reported.

The area has been the scene of several high-profile burglaries in recent years, and Anelka himself was in the house when the so-called “Wimbledon Prowler” Astrit Kapaj tried to break in six years ago.

The former Real Madrid star chased away the prolific burglar, who is suspected of hundreds of break-ins in the plush London suburb, and was jailed last year for 14 years after finally being caught.

Source: AFP