The parents of a Feilding man killed in a road crash are dumbfounded by the actions of a "heartless" thief who stole memorabilia from their business just days after his death.
Jacob Rata, 33, died after being hit by a truck on State Highway 3, near Mt Stewart, about 2.45pm on September 15.
Jacob was the co-owner of Feilding Taxis with his parents, Linda and Rangi Rata.
The loss of their son, a well-known Feilding resident, hit the Rata family hard, but they have appreciated the support of the community.
However, Mrs Rata said they were "dumbstruck" by the nerve of a person who, some time after Jacob's death, entered their MacArthur St taxi stand and stole 20 historical images and newspaper clippings.
"We put them up for the customers to read while they waited for us. They were original newspaper cuttings which you can't replace and photos showing the local history of Feilding's CBD," Mrs Rata said.
She had intended to place a thank you notice in the window of the stand, but instead left a note to the person who took away their memorabilia.
The note read: "To the heartless thief who removed 20 historical pictures from our windows and walls, these pictures were for all of Feilding, not just you! At a time when the whole community has been there for us, you are the only fly in the ointment. Shame on you!".
"I will still be putting up a thank-you note, because people have been just wonderful.
"It is a very hard time for us, but we are here for the community, so we have just carried on."
Mrs Rata and her husband were both back driving their taxis the day after Jacob's funeral, which was one of the largest the town has had this year, attended by about 1000 people.
Feilding Taxis has been owned by Mrs Rata's family since the 1940s.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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