A chronically ill Rotorua woman is appealing for the return of precious photos, including shots of her dead sister, after her home was burgled twice in three days.

Quellie, 30, and Jesse Dillon, 26, won a weekend holiday to Napier earlier this month but when they returned home they found many of their items gone.

"They took a lot of our sentimental things, including our hard drive which had all of our family photos and videos on it.

"My sister died of cancer two years ago and all the photos, bar one, that I had of her were on that hard drive, as well as our wedding photos.


"They also took the TV, some of my homemade crafts, food, and they came back a second time and cut the wiring to our fridge freezer and washing machine and drier."

The first burglary happened on Sunday June 5 while the couple were in Napier, the second on June 8, while the couple were sleeping.

"We told our landlord and they have come and riveted the windows shut and put extra deadlocks on."

The burglars also took Mrs Dillon's medication.

At the age of 15 she was diagnosed with familial adenomatous polyposis, polyps in the colon which can turn into cancer.

"I have had some burnt out and at the moment they are still waiting to see what happens."

She has also recently been diagnosed with chronic pseudo obstruction disorder.

"I have had all my colon bar 10 per cent removed, I had an ileostomy bag for about 10 months, it didn't work, I kept having blockages, so they made me a J pouch.

"That is made of the leftover colon, basically I'm meant to be able to live a normal life, but it blocks all the time."

She said doctors had done their best to make her comfortable, but it was hard for her to live a normal life as she was on a lot of pain medication.

She said the medicine could be very dangerous in the wrong hands, but it was the loss of the sentimental items that hit her the hardest.

I don't feel safe in my own home, and with my medication being stolen it's hard to get replaced.


"The chemist was really understanding and my doctor has been amazing."

She said the Salvation Army had been awesome and had given them a new fridge.

She wanted to thank the community for getting behind them, saying people had helped with food and had replaced stolen items.

Police have been unable to find those responsible.

Mr Dillon said the ordeal was frustrating.

"Breaking in once is an injury, but breaking in twice is just adding insult to injury. The TV and things like that can be replaced, but that hard drive had photos going back to when we first met, from our marriage, family, funerals, people who have passed on, photos we can't replace, no one else had them but us."

The couple say all they want is for their photos to be returned.

"We wouldn't even charge them [burglars], we just want, if anything, that hard drive back.

"It's tearing me apart. I only have one photo left of my sister. If they were happy to return it and just put it in the letterbox, let bygones be bygones," Mrs Dillon said.