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Callous thieves ruin Christmas

CHRISTMAS SHATTERED: Carol Baker’s home was broken into on Christmas Day and thieves took a safe that contained sentimental items given to her by her late husband Graham.
CHRISTMAS SHATTERED: Carol Baker’s home was broken into on Christmas Day and thieves took a safe that contained sentimental items given to her by her late husband Graham. Rob Williams

WIDOW Carol Baker is trying to come to terms with the Christmas Day theft of her late husband's savings and sentimental items.

Mrs Baker said thieves broke into her Walloon home while she was celebrating Christmas at her son Adrian's Kholo home.

Carol Baker had her safe stolen from her home on Christmas day that contained sentimental items given to her by her late husband Graham (pictured). Photo: Contributed
Carol Baker had her safe stolen from her home on Christmas day that contained sentimental items given to her by her late husband Graham (pictured). Photo: Contributed Contributed

It was her first Christmas without Graham, her husband of 48 years, who died on February 29, aged 66.

The thieves even used Graham's wheelchair to carry a heavy 60cm safe from the house to a vehicle waiting beside the road.

"I've had enough to deal with this year," Mrs Baker said, tears welling in her eyes.

Graham had diabetes and got really sick; he was sick for a long time and lost his leg, but he was still very active in his mind.

"He was in and out of hospital, but didn't want to stay there so we made a bed for him near the front door because he didn't want to be enclosed. Then he became really sick and he died at home."

She said she left her home on Haigslea-Amberley Rd about 8.30 on Christmas morning after locking up, turning off the lights and activating the automatic front gate.

Later, her daughter Lynda forgot some crab that was in her fridge so Coral gave her the keys and she came back home about noon.

Lynda locked everything back up and went back to Adrian's house. Carol decided to stay on there.

"Usually when Graham was here we'd come home after lunch, but this day I wanted to stay longer," she said.

"I left there about 7.30 and got back here about eight.

"I had to unlock the gate because it's an automatic gate, I parked and walked around the back and the Christmas lights were flickering - they weren't on when we left - and then I saw towels and blankets on the floor and all this broken glass and saw the door was all broken and I knew someone had broken in and I went hysteric.

"I went out to the car and rang the girls and they all came out here straight away and we all tried to work out what had happened and rang the police.

"They went in and nothing was touched, but the safe had gone missing. Then I thought, no way, and I just lost it."

Inside the safe was money Graham left for her to pay bills when he knew he was dying, the deeds to the house, keypads to the front gate and shed and a gold and diamond ring Graham had bought for her, but she never got to wear because it was too small.

"My granddaughter wore it at her formal and luckily she took pictures of it so we could show the police what it looks like," Mrs Baker said.

"The safe was so heavy, it would have taken two or three big men to lift it.

"For sentimental reasons we'd left the wheelchair sitting out the back and they must have decided to use it to carry the safe.

"They would have had to take it up the side of the house and to a vehicle parked on the side of the road.

"You can see where they pushed it through the bottom corner of the fence.

"I'm just hoping someone saw someone out there on Christmas Day, probably late in the evening after it got dark.

It wasn't someone in the family, but it must have been someone who knows the family and knows me.

Mrs Baker's granddaughter has been staying with her because she doesn't want to be alone.

Ipswich CIB's Detective Senior Sergeant Gary Dixon said the theft was being investigated.

Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Information can be given anonymously and a reward may apply in cases where it leads to a criminal conviction.

Topics:  carol baker, graham baker, theft, walloon


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