THIEVES who stole Christmas from Michelle Miller also took with them her family’s dream of owning their own property.
Ms Miller featured in the Rodney Times’ November 18 issue about her aspiration to see a special needs school established in the area for one of her two sons and other children.
‘ ‘ Our dream of saving enough money to put a deposit on a house has been stolen, as we’ve used the money to pay for replacing the broken furniture,’’ the Arkles Bay resident says.
Also gone are their dreams of holidaying in Disneyland next year.
A vacation in Taupo with her sons was cut short when they received a call saying their home had been broken into.
‘‘Our neighbour who comes around each evening to feed our cats rang my mum when she saw the windows were open, and the cats inside the house,’’ Ms Miller says.
The family returned home early New Year’s eve to a home where ‘ ‘ drawers and cabinets were smashed, shelves pulled out of wardrobes, beds broken and couches ripped,’’ she says.
It took them about three days to clear up the mess.
She believes about $30,000 worth of personal belongings have been stolen.
That includes two Xbox consoles, which took her a ‘‘good year’’ to save for, two television sets, laptops, her sons’ new clothes, money and a gold bracelet Ms Miller received from her grandmother.
‘‘Raffle money which was to be used to fundraise for the special needs school was also taken. The last count I did, it was about $400. But more money came in, so I think it added up to $700 in total,’’ she says.
‘‘I’ve saved up so hard to buy these things for my boys. I don’t care about the money but the person who stole all the items has also taken away what’s theirs.
‘ ‘ There’s nothing for the boys to do now over their holiday period but stare at a blank wall,’’ she says.
Ms Miller says the family has not been coping well.
‘‘We’ve not been sleeping properly either. We’ve been hearing noises outside our house and we all slept in the lounge,’’ she says.
The incident has been reported to police and Ms Miller has taken out house and contents insurance.
‘‘I should’ve taken it out before I went on vacation. I did say I would do it, but I ignored my conscience – and this happened,’’ she says.
Her neighbours have offered support, and Ms Miller is grateful to forensic police who bought the family pizza and chips for dinner.
‘‘The officer was so lovely. And we were blessed to have a meal that night. She even offered us use of a TV.’’
Ms Miller hopes the goods and money will be returned.
Police say investigations are continuing.
All gone: Arkles Bay resident Michelle Miller’s vacation was cut short when thieves broke into her home and fled with $30,000 worth of personal belongings.