Burglars who crept around Dame Susan Devoy's family home while her husband and son slept have left the former world squash champion feeling gutted and "shell-shocked".

Dame Susan was at a working bee in Auckland with her two youngest boys on Friday night while husband John Oakley and their 17-year-old son stayed home in Tauranga.

As they slept, intruders broke in and stole a TV set and a PlayStation the family had only just replaced after an earlier burglary five months ago.

"The biggest thing is that my husband and my eldest son were asleep at the time," Dame Susan said.


"It's pretty personal. We are just a bit shell-shocked by it at the moment."

The burglary happened between 11pm on Friday and 8am on Saturday.

The 55-inch TV set had only been delivered the day before.

The home was burgled last October and almost everything of monetary value taken.

"But this one is ... it's a bit scary," Dame Susan said.

"Since the other burglary we've been really vigilant but you don't expect people to break in while you're at home."

Alarms were being installed at the Devoy-Oakley home yesterday but Dame Susan still felt on edge. Her son was sleeping just metres from where the TV had been taken, she said.

"He didn't hear anything, though. He had his door shut and our room is upstairs."


There was no obvious sign of break-in, Dame Susan said.

Tauranga police Detective Sergeant Alan Kingsbury said electronic items were typically popular with burglars, and often on-sold or given to their "associates".

"Some of those high-value items are stolen to order," Mr Kingsbury said.

"Receivers will place an order and burglars will go out and find it," he said.

"That's the difficulty we have, that there is always people ready to receive these items. If we didn't have receivers, we would have a lot less burglaries."