West Ham captain Kurt Zouma is in distress following an invasion at his home by an armed gang that stole Ksh19 million in cash and jewellery while he was at home with his family
West Ham defender Kurt Zouma is the latest victim of burglary involving football stars after an armed gang raided his £3 million (Ksh581 million) home and stole £100,000 (Ksh19 million) in cash and jewellery last weekend.
The incident left Zouma and his family 'traumatised' as the gang of thugs ransacked his Essex mansion late on Saturday night while he was relaxing with his wife Sandra and their children.
Frenchman Zouma, 29, was missing from West Ham's squad on Sunday as they drew 1-1 with Crystal Palace following the raid, which prompted a warning from cops to neighbours amid fears an organised crime group could strike again.
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UK media reports that Zouma and his loved ones have been left 'too scared to stay at home', with a source telling The Sun: “Kurt and the family were put through an horrific ordeal, and are still struggling to speak about what happened... Kurt is a family man and in shock. He is worried about protecting his family.”
News of the ordeal left West Ham fans stunned - with the club offering a £25,000 reward for information leading to the gang's capture.
“West Ham United has offered a £25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and successful prosecution of burglars who broke into defender Kurt Zouma's home on the eve of the Club's Premier League fixture against Crystal Palace this weekend,” West Ham said in a statement.
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“Kurt's home was broken into on Saturday while all his family were in the house, leaving everyone present extremely distressed. While thankfully no one was harmed, it was a traumatic experience for the West Ham United defender, his wife and their young family.
“The burglars took items of significant value and of huge personal and sentimental importance to the family. The West Ham United family continue to offer Kurt's family their full support.”
Head coach David Moyes said Zouma had missed the game due to personal reasons, and it has now emerged the centre-back suffered the terrifying ordeal.
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The Frenchman international is married to Sandra, who he first met when they were teenagers in Lyon, in central France. They revealed in July that they had welcomed their fourth child together.
Zouma becomes the latest in a long list of top-flight footballers to have been targeted by professional robbery gangs.
Chelsea forward Raheem Sterling, former Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba and ex-Manchester City defender Joao Cancelo are the other top names to have faced a similar ordeal in recent years.