Birthday spoiled by mall thieves

CAROLINE KING
Last updated 05:00 13/12/2012
Roseanne Parrish
DON SCOTT/Fairfax NZ
SAD DAY: Roseanne Parrish, left, is comforted by her mother, Colleen Parrish, after her birthday presents were stolen yesterday.

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Tears swelled in Roseanne Parrish's eyes as she recounted her 39th birthday - she never even got a chance to open her presents.

A bag containing her gifts was stolen from the Christchurch's South City shopping centre car park yesterday about noon as Parrish, who is intellectually handicapped, and her mother Colleen Parrish were setting up a wheelchair for her friend Olwyn Ferguson.

The three had planned to celebrate Parrish's birthday at the mall.

Parrish said she had placed the plastic shopping bag on the ground next to the boot of the car after the pair took the wheelchair out.

When she turned around, "a matter of seconds" later, it was gone.

"I was just upset. I started crying.

"I wish I had held it or picked it up," she said.

All she got to see of her presents was the pink wrapping paper.

Parrish, who was still upset by the incident last night, said it ruined her birthday.

She hoped someone may have witnessed the brazen act and would pass on any information to the mall management or the police.

"I just hope I get them back," she said.

She also wanted to ensure it did not happen to anyone else and warned shoppers to be extra careful.

Colleen Parrish said she planned to replace the presents and hold a belated birthday.

"I feel terrible, I had all these presents for her and she couldn't have them.

"She didn't get a chance to see what we bought her."

She said mall management told her they would check security footage but were unsure if it covered that area of the car park.

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