TORONTO – A Brampton, Ont. widow is making a public plea for the return of a hard disk drive containing priceless photographs of her late husband after it was stolen in a burglary this week.
“I’m thinking they might erase it,” said Josephine Siu. “I don’t want to press charges. I just want the back-up drive.”
Siu’s husband, Joseph, passed away in March at the age of 59 after being diagnosed with stage four cancer more than a year ago.
The family says he stored important personal information, including many cherished photographs, on two laptops and a hard drive before he died – all of which were taken during the robbery.
“All of my dad’s life was on there,” said Siu’s daughter Serena. “He had cancer. He knew he wasn’t going to be here anymore.”
The family’s house, located in the Heart Lake Road North and Sandalwood Parkway East area, was broken into Monday night when the thieves allegedly forged their way through the front door and stole a number of jewelry items, including Siu’s engagement ring.
No one was home at the time of the robbery.
“I saw the front door unlocked,” said Siu. “I went up to the bedroom, all the drawers were open. At the time, I did not think about the laptops.”
Peel police visited the Siu home twice to gather evidence that included taking forensic photographs of sneaker footprints left behind by the thieves.
It is believed at least two suspects were involved but no descriptions are available.
“The violation of stealing items is hard enough, doing it to someone that passed away is harder,” Siu’s daughter said.
The family alleges the thieves also committed the unusual act of turning around a memorial photo of Joseph that was located in the living room.
“They noticed the memorial picture of my father and put it face down,” said Siu’s daughter. “Over guilt? We aren’t sure.”
Police say items stolen from residential robberies are rarely recovered because they are either sold online or at pawn shops.
“Sometimes these items go underground for a while, so a lot of the time they may go undetected,” said Peel Regional Police Constable George Tudos.
Still, the Siu family is hopeful their public plea will compel the perpetrators to return the small piece of electronic hardware loved ones say is filled with a lifetime of memories.
“I would ask them, return the back-up drive. It’s not worth anything to them,” said Serena Siu. “With everything that happened this year, my mom’s lost. How many more bad things can happen in one year?”
© Shaw Media, 2013