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Chelsea football star in £60,000 raid

January 12, 2004
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Juan Sebastian Veron has undergone a terrifying ordeal after an armed raider broke into his home and took him and his family hostage. The footie ace and his girlfriend, Maria Vinaccia, woke early on Sunday morning to find a man brandishing a machete standing over their bed.

The robber demanded money and jewels and threatened the couple's two young children if they did not comply. The 28-year-old handed over an estimated £60,000 in jewellery before the criminal forced them, along with their children and two female guests who were staying at the house, into a bathroom.

The family waited there while the intruder ransacked the £2.5-million home in south-west London. The couple, and their terrified guests, didn't leave the bathroom until they heard a vehicle leaving the property some time later.

Juan Sebastian is one of the English premiership's biggest stars. When Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich bought Chelsea football club last summer, he paid £15 million to sign the midfielder from Manchester United.

A spokesman for Chelsea FC said the athlete would take several days off so that he and his loved ones could recover from the ordeal. "He has his family around him and they won't be leaving the house for a few days;" said Gary Staker. "The family is fine and they don't want to make a fuss. They just want to get on with their lives."

A 35-year-old builder, called Wayne Harley, has since been arrested and charged with the robbery.

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Photo: ©
The Argentine midfielder was signed by Chelsea last summer for £15 million
Photo: ©
The £2.5-million London home where Juan Sebastian and his family were held hostage on Sunday morningPhoto: © PA

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