Abbey Clancy and Peter Crouch's home has been burgled.

The couple - who live in a £4.5 million mansion in Cheshire, North West England - were "distraught" when they returned home to find the property ransacked by thieves, with Christmas presents, luxury Rolex watches and a number of rings belonging to the 25-year-old model having gone missing.

It is thought the burglars had been watching the house and waiting for the couple to go out before forcing their way in through a kitchen window on Tuesday (20.12.11), before being Disturbed when the soccer star and his wife returned home.

A friend of the pair told MailOnline: "Abbey and Peter must have disturbed the burglars when they heard their car coming up the drive. 

"They believe there were several men in the house."

Fortunately, the couple's nine-month-old daughter Sophia Ruby was being looked after by Abbey's mother at the time of the incident.

A pal added to the Daily Mirror newspaper: "Abbey and Peter are naturally distressed that this has happened, particularly in the run-up to Christmas."

It is thought Abbey called police - who are launching an investigation into the burglary - as soon as she and the 30-year-old sportsman returned home.

A spokeswoman for Cheshire Police said: "Thieves broke in to the house via a kitchen window, stealing jewellery and electrical items."

However, this isn't the first time Peter - who bought the Cheshire mansion, which features a gym, a swimming pool and a cinema, from retired England cricketer Andrew Flintoff three months ago after signing for Premier League team Stoke City - has been targeted by burglars.

In 2006, his home in Alderley Edge, Cheshire, was raided, with thieves stealing football memorabilia, champagne and jewellery and his exclusive Aston Martin car worth a total of £200,000.