Thieves have stolen Bay widower Brett Morrison's wife's jewellery, including her engagement and wedding rings and the earrings she wore on their wedding day.
It was a cruel blow for Mr Morrison, whose soul mate and wife Sarah died of bowel cancer just over a year ago.
At 10am today, Mr Morrison left his Papamoa home with his 11-year-old dog, Abby. When he returned an hour later the ranchslider door was wide open.
Burglars had forced open a window and rummaged through the house.
Mr Morrison's anger at finding his belongings gone turned to dismay when he saw the box he kept Sarah's jewellery in empty and strewn on the bed.
"I dropped a few F-bombs and when I realised Sarah's jewellery was gone I broke down."
Sarah's necklaces, the earrings she wore to their wedding, her engagement ring Mr Morrison had picked out himself and her wedding band were all gone.
"To them it's just jewellery but to me it's the memories - it's like they've taken a piece of her."
Also taken was Mr Morrison's camera and laptop, which had photos from a wedding he had photographed in the weekend.
"I want to get those back for the bride and groom, they only get married once," he said.
The burglars may have only taken small items but they had big sentimental value.
A couple of pairs of Nike Air Max shoes and liquor had also been stolen.
Mr Morrison was appealing to the thieves to return the jewellery and the memory card in his camera.
"Everything else you can keep, I don't care.
"Just hand the jewellery into the police station and the card so I can give the wedding photos to the couple," he said.
He said being from South Auckland, he was very careful about locking up and if he was working nearby he would always pop home.
"If they had been watching the house they would know I'd be gone for a couple of hours."
His german shepherd/labrador cross Abby, who belonged to Sarah before she died, went everywhere with him so was not much of a guard dog.
Neighbours had seen nothing or were not at home when the burglars came.
Mr Morrison had filed a report with police and photos of the missing jewellery have been taken to second-hand stores and pawn shops.
Police were investigating the burglary they described as "brazen" as the burglars entered the house through a window on the front side of the house in daylight.
The burglar would have been visible from the road when the offence took place between 10am and 11am.
Papamoa police have asked anyone with information about the burglary or the whereabouts of the jewellery to call (07) 348 0099.
Any information would be gratefully received and treated as confidential.
What was stolen:
• Sarah's engagement, wedding and eternity rings
• Sarah's sliver S necklace
• Sarah's silver heart necklace
• Sarah's diamond circle necklace
• Gold sovereign ring
• Apple MacBook Pro (with the weekend's wedding photos)
• Canon 5d mark 2 camera (with the weekend's wedding photos on the card)
• Pair of Red and White Nike Air Max size 10
• Pair of Black and White Nike size 1