Precious documents in stolen safe

00:34, Dec 12 2012
janet langrell
STOLEN HISTORY: Temuka woman Janet Langrell with a picture of her grandparents. She desperately wants back their passports and other family history documents which were in a safe stolen from her Donald St home last week.

A Temuka woman fears her family history could be lost unless a thief gains a conscience.

A week ago Janet Langrell returned home to her Donald St home and found the wardrobe doors open. She thought it odd, but reasoned she must have left home in a hurry. It wasn't until she went to get something out of the wardrobe last Friday that she realised the safe was gone.

The safe, which she had difficulty moving by herself, was about 30cm wide and high. She bought it a number of years ago when both she and son Brett had begun working on family history.

''It contained documents. We put them in it so they would be safe if there was a fire,'' Ms Langrell explained.

The only other item in the safe was her Cher t-shirt.

''There were passports and birth and death certificates, family information, my grandfather's (80 to 90 year old) bank statements.


''They are family records which can never be replaced,'' she said, referring to documents including the Irish passports her grandparents used when they migrated to New Zealand in the 1940s.

The safe also contained old sepia photos of the couple.

''We have a lot of material in folders, material that we are working on, but the rest was in the safe.''

Ms Langrell's greatest fear now is, once the offender or offenders get the safe open and find there are no valuables in it, they will burn or dump the documents.

''They can't do that - dump it or burn it. That is our family. I just hope they have a conscience and dump it back around here (so they can find it).

''I hope some kind person will bring it back.

''I feel I have to do something,'' she said of her call to the Herald, and her attempt to retrieve her family's history.

The Timaru Herald