A FAMILY was left devastated after treasured photographs of a baby who died were stolen when their car was broken into at a New Forest beauty spot.
Thieves struck at Godshill Inclosure in Woodgreen, near Fordingbridge, on Saturday 13th April while Elizabeth Hague, her husband William and 16-year-old daughter Amy were visiting family for the day.
Both Mrs Hague and Amy had left their handbags hidden in the boot of her Peugeot 3006 in the inclosure’s car park while the family went for a walk between 3pm and 4.30pm.
“When we returned to the car the rear window was smashed in,” Mrs Hague told the A&T.
“There was also a crowbar dent where they’d tried to force the window out before smashing it.
“Both mine and my daughter’s handbags were stolen. They had lifted the parcel shelf to get into the boot.
“My bag contained pictures of my baby son, James, who died 20 years ago in July. He was born prematurely and only lived for a day. I have carried those pictures with me ever since.”
Although they have copies of the two pictures, Mrs Hague said these were of a poorer quality than the originals.
“It’s devastating,” she continued. “Losing material things is bad enough, particularly for my daughter – she’s 16 so it’s not a good thing for her to experience at that age.
“But losing my son’s photos – they can’t be replaced. He’s not here and I’ve lost that link to him.”
Both the mother and daughter’s purses were inside the stolen bags and these contained cash, along with bank cards which had to be cancelled.
Other contents of Mrs Hague’s bag included a pair of headphones, a phone charger and her driving licence, as well as a pair of glasses.
Amy’s bag had contained mobile phones and a pair of headphones.
The bags’ contents also included an annual pass for Thorpe Park.
“We’ve had to cancel bank cards, my driving licence was in there and that’s costing money to replace,” Mrs Hague said. “It’s unbelievable just how much stuff is in a bag.”
Appealing for the return of the pictures of her son, Mrs Hague, who lives in Northamptonshire, also urged people visiting such places not to leave any valuables in their vehicles.
“We thought we’d done the right thing by hiding our bags in the boot, but we’d obviously been watched,” she continued.
“It’s a horrible thing to have happen to you and I don’t want anyone to go through the same thing.”
A Hampshire Police spokesperson confirmed officers are investigating the break-in, and people are being urged to come forward if they may have witnessed any suspicious activity.
Anyone with information should contact the force on 101, quoting crime reference number 44190127980, or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.