West Seattle Crime Watch: Precious memories, taken by thieves

A car prowl in Highland Park stole more than just belongings – it stole precious memories that were all Mary‘s daughter and grandchildren had left of their husband/father, killed in the Middle East. Mary says it took her a while to realize that a public plea just might somehow help bring back that one item full of memories – one particular hard drive:

Last month my daughter’s Suburban was broken into when she and the
babies spent the night at my house. When I opened the curtains in the morning I saw that the back hatch was open. She ran outside, looked in and instantly started crying – someone had stolen EVERYTHING from in it. Two car seats and all the stuff that goes with them, a large emergency kit she had just put together, the dog’s leases and toys, yard tools that she borrowed from me, the brand new Easter presents for the kids, a bunch of toys and of course all the electronics. They even took the kids’ cups that were in the back seat, some miscellaneous clothes that were tossed in and all the kids’ snacks that were in the glove box. Unbelievable.

The absolute worst part – they took two external hard drives. She had them in the console and was taking them somewhere to have one copied onto the other. The one she was copying belonged to her husband who died in Afghanistan last year. On it were the last photos and movies he took of his life with his military friends, what he was doing and feeling on his 9-month tour and the last photos of his life. The people who have this hard drive have no idea what they have done to my daughter – they took his life from her. Again.

I don’t think this was just some random kids prowling the streets and checking for unlocked car doors, these people must have had a large vehicle to take all this stuff away and while they tried to jimmy the ignition, they just succeeding in scratching up the steering column. We called the police and of course there is nothing they can do, this happens almost every night they say. Unfortunately the magnitude of this does not even register with them, it’s just another car prowl.

I know asking for the hard drives back is a stretch to say the least but I have to try. And of course if they get returned there will be no questions asked. Thank you.

You probably remember Mary’s son-in-law: Navy Petty Officer Jarod Newlove, the West Seattleite killed in Afghanistan ten months ago.

15 Replies to "West Seattle Crime Watch: Precious memories, taken by thieves"

  • twirl-a-whirl May 24, 2011 (2:25 pm)

    This brings tears to my eyes. I’m so sorry this happened, and hope those hard drives are returned. Everyone should look around their own area for these, as the thieves may have just dumped some of the stolen items.

  • bsmomma May 24, 2011 (2:31 pm)

    My heart is aching for your daughter. I’ll pray that at the very least the hard drives get returned. Do you know what kind of hard drives these were? I am totally illiterate when it comes to electronic stuff. I want to keep my eyes open.
    Lots of Happy Thought and Love your way.

  • lucky chick May 24, 2011 (2:37 pm)

    This is just heartbreaking. I’m so sorry.

  • Aj momma May 24, 2011 (2:56 pm)

    The Newlove family has been through so much and if anyone in this world deserves a miracle it’s them!!! My prayers are with the family!!!

  • moji May 24, 2011 (3:09 pm)

    Oh my heart is breaking for this family. I bet some of Officer Newlove’s Navy comrades have some similar photos and movies they would be honored to share.

  • flowerpetal May 24, 2011 (3:23 pm)

    How very sad for an awful situation to become even more painful. Perhaps it would be helpful for Mary’s daughter; and others who have viewed the pics, etc on the hard drive to write down what they remember. If the hard drive is never recovered, years from now it would bring some solace to a family who will always miss their husband; father; and son.

  • MB May 24, 2011 (3:37 pm)

    This really pisses me off. You can screw up and rob someone and then still do the right thing once you realize what it is you have taken. I highly doubt these people read the blog or have a conscience, but wouldn’t it be a wonderful Memorial Day gift if they did. If anyone knows anything about this, please help to at least return the hard drives! This family deserves some sense of peace. Ironic, I was already thinking of Jarod today ;(

  • rw May 24, 2011 (4:04 pm)

    I hate to say it, but the portable hard drives might be among the more valuable items to these bums. Toys, Easter presents, etc. won’t be worth anything at the pawn shop or wherever they resell stolen goods. In fact, it might be worth calling some pawn shops to see whether they have purchased any of these items recently.

    Our car was stolen a few years ago. The police recovered it a few days later, but the thieves apparently used our car as the dumping ground for loot stolen from other cars (that is, the stuff they did not want). Fortunately I found some evidence (LL Bean receipt, book sale flyer) that allowed me to return some items to their rightful owners. I don’t think the police even bothered to sift through all the stuff in my car.

    Never ever leave items exposed in cars overnight. If you can’t unpack and repack in the a.m., find a secure garage to park in. These lowlife thieves will break in for even the smallest items that might be of value.

  • CurlyQ May 24, 2011 (7:12 pm)

    Oh my gosh, that is so sad! This theft adds insult to injury. My prayers for you all, for this loss and the even greater loss of your son/husband/father. God bless.

  • Amy May 24, 2011 (8:45 pm)

    So sorry to read this.

  • bridge to somewhere May 24, 2011 (9:07 pm)

    this is easily the saddest thing i’ve heard this week. i’m very, very sorry–and i hope for a return of these valuable memories.

  • SaraJeanQueen May 24, 2011 (9:19 pm)

    I am going to read this to my class, where two ipods and a few cell phones have been stolen this semester. (We definitely have a thief on our hands.) These people just do not think about how their actions affect others.

    I am so sorry.. this made me cry and I’m thinking of you. I wish you could get your treasures back.

  • sun*e May 25, 2011 (8:25 am)

    How callous can people be? Too callous, obviously! This is so cruel and I hope these thieves get what’s coming to them someday. What goes around comes around so I’m sure their day will come. These heartless thieves should at least do one redeeming thing and return the priceless photos and movies. I’m so sorry for your loss… and loss.

  • Me May 25, 2011 (10:37 am)

    I think that is a great idea. If people are taught empathy and carring at an early age they will be better citizens! To talk about feelings is important. If they can realize how important something is to them, maybe they will understand how much it hurts to have something important taken away. It’s OK to care about others! Don’t harden your hearts.

  • Racheal May 26, 2011 (2:31 am)

    That is so sad,it is a pity to what happened to her.I know how it feels when things that mean alot to you are taken away.And what hurt me most was the two external hard drives because i bet it had a lot of information.For sure next time please advice your daughter to start using at least online backup solutions because i think with online important files are much safer.There are very many online backup services now days forexample Mozy,SugarSync,Backblaze,Dropbox,SafeCopy,Elephant drive and lots more and they all offer free trial version.It is really a pity because tears rolled down my cheeks as soon as i finished reading the story.

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