A VICTIM of the recent Crossgates and Cowdenbeath break-ins has spoken to the Press about her ordeal.

Widow Janette Clark (60) recalled the frightening moment she confronted a burglar in her kitchen.

She was asleep in bed at her home in Selkirk Avenue, Cowdenbeath, when she heard a window being wrenched open at about 7.30pm.

She went downstairs and found herself face-to-face with the startled man who fled empty-handed out a back door with another who was waiting outside.

Later that evening FOUR other houses were broken into in Crossgates, though police are unclear if the incidents are linked.

Two houses in Lady Anne Court were targeted, one in Hillview Crescent and one in Southknowe.

Mrs Clark, a hairdresser, told the Press she was left "shaken" by the break-in.

"I went to the kitchen and I said to him, 'What do you think you are doing?' "He said, 'Oh! There's someone in the house ...' and he absolutely bolted.

"I was upset and crying when I phoned to the police operator.

"I'm quite a strong person but have had a bad shake." Mrs Clarke had to be collected from work later that day because she was so traumatised and has since received advice from victim support.

Police took fingerprints at the scene and used sniffer dogs in a bid to find the culprits, who have not been traced.

She praised Cowdenbeath police for their response and for supplying her with a free light and help in fitting a new burglar alarm.

She said, "I went to work the next day but couldn't handle it � my son had to collect me at 12pm.

"I'm glad I did because police from different departments visited me and I got good advice.

"I got a free light and they offered me an alarm system to put in the house. Keith McLeod (community safety officer) has been brilliant." Cowdenbeath area Chief Inspector Ross Bennet said, "I would like to assure all residents living in the Crossgates and Cowdenbeath area that extensive enquiries are being carried out in order to apprehend the person/persons responsible for these recent house break-ins.

"I have instructed my community officers to carry out additional high visibility foot patrols within the targeted areas thus providing reassurance to all local residents.

"I would again ask all local residents to be extra vigilant and report any unusual activity to the police.'' Fife Constabulary offers a free home security survey service to help make homes more secure.

For over-65s there is a free 'care and repair' service provided where additional features such as door chains can be fitted free of charge.

Anyone with information involving the incidents can contact Fife Constabulary on 0845 600 5702 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

If you are interested in being involved in Neighbourhood Watch call community safety officer Keith McLeod on 318645.