The New Zealand Herald

Placentas taken in burglary

Rotorua mother devastated by loss of precious items and keepsakes

- Katee Shanks

Placentas from each of her five children have been stolen from Marseilles Driver’s Rotorua home — and she’s appealing to whoever took them and other irreplacea­ble items to return them, no questions asked.

The placentas and other property were taken from Driver’s home in the suburb of Koutu while she was circumnavi­gating Mt Ruapehu as a Ring of Fire competitor at the weekend.

“I had left on Friday and returned home on Sunday for what was supposed to be a drop-off of gear and pick-up of more for the Waikato Five Bridges swim,” Driver said. “When I got close to the house I saw the front door was open and thought, ‘Oh no.’”

Having been burgled twice in just over a year, Driver didn’t think it could happen a third time.

“But it has and this time they’ve left one hell of a mess. Every cupboard and every drawer has been turned out.

“Almost anything with glass has been smashed and I’m still compiling a list of what has been taken.”

That list includes electronic equipment, appliances, linen, clothing, including her children’s school uniforms, toiletries, artwork and shoes.

But it is the theft of her exercise gear and memorabili­a that makes Driver emotional.

“About two years ago my marriage broke down. I was overweight, unfit and unhappy and made the decision to start doing something for myself,” she said.

That something was marathons, adventure racing and triathlons — including Iron Maori.

“I had a TOA kit that I wore for Ironman and there are only about 50 in existence. That, and an amount of other gear all have pretty intense feelings and memories associated with them.

“It’s the things I can’t replace and that would not mean anything to anyone else causing me heartache.”

Driver said she had been waiting to get a place of her own before burying her children’s placentas and planting a tree. All five were packed in containers in the freezer.

“If any of the gear or the placentas turn up in my letterbox, it would at least show these people have some sort of heart. I wouldn’t be asking questions.”

While she and her children, who were spending the weekend with their father, love the Koutu community, she said they didn’t feel safe in their home any longer.

“The older kids are annoyed too. They see how hard their mum works and are angry someone or some people think it’s okay to come and help themselves to what we have.”

Rotorua police say a 30-year-old woman has been spoken to in relation to the burglary but no charges had been laid by yesterday evening.

— Rotorua Daily Post

 ?? Picture / NZME ?? This is the third burglary Marseilles Driver has suffered in just over a year. This time the house was trashed and anything made of glass was smashed.
Picture / NZME This is the third burglary Marseilles Driver has suffered in just over a year. This time the house was trashed and anything made of glass was smashed.

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