A plot to burgle the Buckinghamshire home of late entertainer Cilla Black has been foiled, her eldest son Robert Willis has said.
A professionally cut circular hole was discovered in the perimeter fence of her Denham home, ahead of her funeral next week.
Willis, her eldest son, said on Friday: "I cannot believe someone would stoop so low at a time like this. It's inconceivable. Thankfully it was discovered in time."
Nick Fiveash, her former publicist, commented: "It looks as if they have been preparing to burgle the house during the funeral.
"The hole in the chain link fence was cut in a very secluded place and it was not there before.
"The police were immediately informed, 24-hour security has been increased on the property and all valuable assets including art, jewellery and her personal items have been removed and taken to a secured unit at an unknown location.
"It's a difficult time, today was the inquest and next will be the funeral. Her sons have been really brave and dignified and are carrying on for their mum."
The TV star, who died earlier this month, has previously had her south-west England home subject to burglary.
In 2003, Black's house was raided by masked bandits. They beat her youngest son with a crowbar, threatened to kill him with a knife and forced him to reveal where a safe containing Black's entire jewelry collection.