England’s Raheem Sterling raced back from the World Cup yesterday after an armed raid at his mansion.
Terrified fiancée Paige Malian, 27 — at home with their two kids — raised the alarm when the gang took watches worth £300,000 ($370,200).
Sterling told FA chiefs he had to go home. News that he’d left the squad broke shortly before the last-16 clash with Senegal. Sterling, 27, may return to Qatar for Saturday’s quarter-final against France.
Boss Gareth Southgate said, “He is dealing with a family matter. I had quite a bit of time with him this morning but I have had to pass that on to other people to help him with that. He will go and deal with that matter and we will have to take it from there.”
The raid at Sterling’s home, less than 15 minutes from Chelsea’s training ground in Chobham, Surrey, happened on Saturday night.
It is not known if property developer Paige confronted the raiders or whether they fled when they realized someone was in. The gang may have thought she and the couple’s sons, aged five and three, were still in Qatar.
Before England’s first game she posted pictures of the two boys on a cruise ship in Doha, and she was tagged in social media images with cocktails.
A family source said, “This was terrifying for her and obviously traumatic for all the family. Raheem will have been beside himself with worry when he heard. To be away when your partner and children are at home when an armed gang breaks in is beyond words. It looks like about £300,000 of watches have been taken. The police were there several hours.”
The boss of a national intelligence unit focused on serious organised crime has warned of a rise in raids on stars due to gangs scouring social media feeds.
Supt Carl Williams, of Operation Opal, said, “In today’s world where many wealthy individuals are active on social media their significant public profile can help make them targets. Their high-value possessions are often on display as well as information about their plans.”
The FA said last night, “Raheem is not available for selection for the Three Lions tonight as he is dealing with a family matter.”
- The Sun report