Heartbroken after burglary

By Kaysha Brownlie

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A Napier couple who are counting down the weeks until their big day are "utterly heartbroken" their wedding rings were stolen when their house was ransacked on Wednesday .

Toughening the blow further for Meg Sheppard was the discovery that her late grandmother's rings, which had been left to her in a will, had also been stolen.

The Onekawa home that Miss Sheppard and her fiance, Kendal Latimer, share had a laundry window smashed so the burglar could reach inside and open the window. Miss Sheppard arrived home just before 4pm to find the back door slightly ajar and thankfully the kitten they had brought home two days prior had not escaped.

"I walked into our lounge to find that our laptop was missing from in front of the TV. At first I thought Kendal may have moved it so went and checked in our bedroom - that's when I saw every single drawer open."

Mr Latimer returned home immediately after receiving the call from his fiancee.

He said that while he was scanning the house to assess what had been stolen he noticed the front door had also been opened.

Not only had the house been targeted, but the sleep-out had a window smashed and had been raided too.

The couple said a number of things were stolen, including small items as well as items such as laptops and hard-drives.

"The most upsetting things that have been taken are our wedding rings, also my grandmother's antique rings that she gave to me in her will."

Luckily the couple have full insurance and Mr Latimer said some things could be replaced, "but sentimental things like photos on hard-drives, jewellery I have bought for Meg to mark special occasions can't be replaced unfortunately".

"No amount of money can replace the rings my grandmother chose to leave me," Miss Sheppard said. "They were hers and they were special."

With about three months to go before their wedding the couple said they are "utterly heartbroken ... disgusted that someone has been through our house and touched our things".

The to-be-weds said still felt safe living in the area, but had lost trust and felt "violated and taken advantage of".

They have now made the decision to install a surveillance camera.

The break-in was immediately reported to police, "I found them very helpful. They understood that I was quite distraught and continued to reassure me," Miss Sheppard said.

Fingerprints and a full list of stolen items would be obtained by police.

"It was a big wake-up call that there are people out there who do this to not only us but countless other homes," Miss Sheppard said.

"These thieves need to understand that they are not stealing objects that they are stealing people's hard work, their memories."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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