A little girl has written a note asking the thieves who burgled her home to return the treasured items they stole from her family.
Hanna Fail, 12, told the Herald her "heart just broke" when she learned jewellery, including her late grandfather's watch and her dad's wedding and 21st birthday signet rings, were among items been stolen from her Palmerson North home on Wednesday.
Upset, she decided to write to the thieves and leave the note on the front door in the hope they might come back and - after realising how treasured the items were - leave them in the mailbox.
"If you are reading this and you are the person that stole lots of my familys speacial items, please keep reading [sic]," she wrote.
"The 2 rings one whice was my Dads Wedding ring and one that was given to my Dad when he was 21 by his pearents who passed away... please, please, please return them [sic].
"My pearents are not rich people, so please leave our stuff allown [sic]."
Hanna's first language is German and she often expresses herself in writing, so penning the note seemed like the natural thing to do.
"I wrote it because like, the things they stole, they had so many memories," Hanna said.
"I just kind of felt like there might be a tiny bit of hope left that we might get the stuff back. Like maybe they might leave it in the mail box."
Hanna said if she could talk to the robbers she wouldn't yell at them, but she wanted them to know that her mum and dad worked hard to pay for things for her and her brother Josh, 15.
"When things that mum and dad worked really hard to get, get taken it's just sad," she said.
When Hanna's mum Lesley found the note on Thursday morning, she was touched by her quiet daughter's words.
"I thought it was really sweet and it made me realise, we both have to work to pay for our mortgage so it's obviously impacted [the kids] that we have to work hard."
Fail works two jobs and her husband Steve is a plasterer.
She arrived home shortly after 2pm on Wednesday to discover the break in.
"I work really funny hours, so I came home thankfully before the kids came home from school.
"As I came up the driveway the dog was going crazy."
She found their doors had been smashed in, and the curtains were blowing in the wind.
Police were called and came to investigate, brushing for prints on the jewellery box from which her late father's watch was stolen.
"My dad recently passed away. They basically took his watch and cuff links, stuff that was more sentimental than necessarily valuable," Fail said.
The family moved back to New Zealand from Germany four years ago.
"You come back and you're [think] you're coming back to a safer environment," she said.
Police were unable to say whether they had made any progress on finding whoever was responsible for the break in.