Violated, devastated and heartbroken.
That is how Balclutha mother Amber Field feels after her car, packed full of her family's personal belongings from their Twizel holiday, was stolen from the McDonald's Oamaru car park on Sunday.
Field, her husband Anthony, and their children Tyler Stephen, 14, Aydan, 8, Tilly, 5, and Lavana, 2, stopped for lunch about 11.30am, and returned to the car park to find their gold 2007 Toyota Camry gone.
While still holding the keys to her car, Field watched security footage showing two men pulling up next to her vehicle, checking it over, before one of them drove off in it.
The car was filled with new Christmas toys, clothing, lifejackets, tablets, car seats and personal diaries.
"It's the whole personal feeling, our whole lives were in it ... Then it's just the pure hatred ... How do you not feel anything?" Field said.
"I was devastated and feel very violated to know someone is going through our personal items."
She estimated the total financial loss was about $20,000, but it was the sentimental value that could not be costed.
The car seats had been used by both Field's daughters, her diary had her children's routines in it, and Lavana's beloved blanket she had since she was born was gone, too.
"That broke my heart that [the blanket's] gone. It's been a rough few days for her as she sleeps with it and everything."
After ringing every known friend and family member in North Otago, Field, Tyler, Tilly, and Lavana, spent the day at a relative's house.
"We have young children that were left stranded with no nappies or bottles," she said.
Field and Aydan, who were travelling in a separate car, carried on to Balclutha, collected spare car seats, and drove back to Oamaru to collect the rest of their family that night.
Amber Field was grateful to the Oamaru community for their help.
"The community was very supportive, offering us stuff for the kids and places to stay until we got sorted."
Oamaru police are investigating.