A week on from what Hamilton police described as the worst burglary they had seen in a decade, a young mother and her children still can't sleep, despite police identifying those responsible.
Hamilton City Tactical Coordinator, Senior Sergeant Freda Grace, said a week on from last Tuesday's home invasion mother Candy Atkinson and her three young children were still cleaning up the mess.
"When Candy and her three children, aged seven, 11 and 12, arrived home that night a door left open was the first indicator something was amiss.
"Leaving the kids in the car she went in to investigate and found her home in a state that no one should have to witness. The interior was just horrible with food thrown all around and liquid poured everywhere, one of our experienced crime scene investigators described the scene as heartbreaking."
Following media coverage of the damage to the family's home police began to build up a picture of what had happened and who was responsible.
"Four boys aged 12-13-years-old have been identified and are being dealt with through Youth Aid.
"Thanks to a good relationship with the local neighbourhood, members of the Melville Community Policing Team were able to identify one of the offenders and during his interview a relative realised where some of the property was and arranged its return but larger items such as the family's television and other electronics remain unaccounted for."
Ms Grace said while the family were saddened about the loss of those items the things the mother really wants returned are a laptop computer and hard drive that holds all the photos she has of her children growing up.
"Electronics can be replaced but mementos such as photos are irreplaceable and Police are particularly keen to hear from anyone knowing the whereabouts of a black Sony Vaio laptop computer and a WD Elements external hard drive.
"Anyone offered such items cheaply are asked to consider is the price too good to be true? Before illegally obtaining these items we ask you consider the heartache associated with their theft, even the children's' soft toys didn't escape the offenders wave of destruction and buying or holding on to such property is only prolonging this family's misery."
Anyone with information on who may have the family's stolen property is asked to contact Ms Grace at the Hamilton Central Police Station on 07 858 6200.
Alternatively information can be left anonymously with Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.