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Mark Cavendish and family victims of armed home invasion

The Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl star sprinter and his family awoke to four armed intruders on November 27

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Armed intruders forced their way into Mark Cavendish‘s residence in Essex, U.K., in the early hours of November 27.

The incident happened just four days after he was released from the hospital following a crash at the Six Days of Ghent track race. Cavendish suffered several broken ribs and a punctured lung in the crash.

The “Manx Missle” and his family were at home asleep when four masked and armed men forced their way into his home.

It was reported that police believe this was a targeted forced entry.

“This was undoubtedly a targeted incident at the home of a celebrated British Olympian, who at the time was recovering from significant injuries resulting from a crash whilst competing, which was well-publicized,” said the senior investigating officer on the case detective inspector Tony Atkin. “Mr. Cavendish and his wife were assaulted and threatened in their own home, in the presence of their young children, who witnessed these events. Thankfully, they are recovering, but the traumatic effect will be long-standing.”

CCTV video surveillance was recorded of the forced entry, however, no arrests have yet been made.

Cavendish posted on his social media that he was attacked and that his wife and children were threatened, a suitcase, and two wristwatches of great sentimental value were taken.

No one sustained serious injuries in the raid, however, Cavendish said he and his family are extremely distressed as a result.

“As I’m sure you will understand, this incident has left our family extremely distressed — not just myself and Peta but our children as well, who feared for their lives and are now struggling with the after-effects,” said Cavendish. “No one should have to experience the sort of violence and threats made against us, let alone this happening in a family home — a place where everyone should feel safe.”

“The items taken are simply material goods and our priority at the moment is to make sure we all recover from the incident as a family, and we know this is likely to take some time,” he added.

Cavendish asked that anyone with knowledge of the event, or the stolen items, come forward and report it through the U.K. information service available by dialing 101 on their phone and using the reference number 42/275184/21.

“In the early hours of 27th November, while recovering at our Essex family home shortly after leaving intensive care, four masked and armed men forced their way into our home as we slept, threatened my wife and children, and violently attacked me. At knifepoint, they proceeded to ransack our belongings.

“Amongst what was taken were two watches of great sentiment and value. But far, far worse to be taken was the sense of security, safety, privacy, and dignity that my young family and everybody else is entitled to in their own home.

“The effect that this nightmare has had on my family is already heart-breakingly evident, so I beg anybody who may be able to help us with information to call 101, quoting reference 42/275184/21,” he wrote on Instagram and Twitter.

Cavendish recently finalized a contract that will see him race for another year with the Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl team.