Burglars have stolen a valuable computer and software from a Featherston man struck down with motor neuron disease, breaking in to his home while he was enjoying a rare trip to the South Wairarapa coast on Sunday.
Richard Clark, 69, returned home from a photography expedition to Ngawi with his partner, Emily Friedlander, to discover burglars had entered his Wakefield St home, making off with his prized laptop worth $7500.
After a brilliant career as a film editor, documentary maker and cameraman, which took him all over the world, Mr Clark is, by his own admission, looking at a short remaining lifespan.
Two years ago he had just completed the Tongariro Crossing and was out fishing, when he developed a limp.
It was the start of an illness which has progressed to the stage where Mr Clark is mostly reliant on a machine to help him through the day by supplying air to his lungs.
The weekend thefts have caused Mr Clark to reflect on his time in the US.
"I lived for 16 years in Los Angeles, between the Crips and the Bloods [gangs], and had a big studio behind the house. In that whole time I never once had a problem and I even used to park my car on the street all night."
Sunday's burglary was the second time he had been hit since returning to live in New Zealand. "The first time thieves took all my film gear, my bike and my music."