A FATHER whose home was burgled while he slept upstairs with his wife, their baby son and two young daughters has branded the raiders "complete lowlifes".

The 44-year-old, who wants his family to remain anonymous, woke last Thursday morning to find �8,000 of electrical gadgets had been stolen overnight from their Caversham home.

The burglars got into the house, in Lowfield Road, between 2.30-6.30am, using a piece of washing line cord, taken from the next door neighbour's back garden. They poked it through the letter box to pull down the front door handle and let themselves in. The husband, who has an 18-month-old son and daughters aged eight and 13, said: "It is a horrible feeling to wake up and know that they were here.

"We were all in bed when it happened and we didn't hear anything. They knew we were in so they didn't come upstairs, they kept the lights off and stayed quiet.

"It's not the same as breaking into a house when you know someone is out."

The furious dad added: "These are complete lowlifes and probably drug addicts."

The burglars stole two laptops - one of them a distinctive Apple Mac - hard drives and other computer equipment. They also stole mobile phones, bank and credit cards and personal papers, including a UK passport and American visa documents.

He added: "The girls were so scared in the morning, they were crying their eyes out. My wife is still very scared."

Although the family was insured, he said: "We've lost all our photos of the children, which are irreplaceable, and all of my work on my Apple Mac is gone."

Anyone with any information should call police on 101, and speak to Detective Constable Helen Purnell, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or go online at crimestoppers-uk.org