Third family has Christmas presents stolen
A THIRD Queensland family in a matter of days has had Christmas presents stolen from their home.
Tracey Gurr fought back tears as she spoke of how photos and presents for her six children had been stolen from their home only a week before Christmas.
"I haven't stopped crying," she said.
"The kids keep saying, 'Don't worry mum, Santa will still come.'
The Gurr's Algester home was broken into and "ransacked" overnight Sunday while the family escaped to the Gold Coast for a few days to celebrate the start of school holidays.
Bags of unwrapped Christmas presents were among thousands of dollars' worth of valuables taken.
"We're devastated. We worked so hard and this is the first year I've managed to buy all the Christmas presents before school holidays started," she said.
"They were still in plastic shopping bags, stashed in my cupboard on the floor."
It is the third time in days that Queensland Police have received reports about Christmas presents being stolen in Southeast Queensland.
A father from Ipswich released camera footage of an alleged thief stealing a present of his son's from their doorstep on Monday, while a family from Harristown, in Toowoomba, also had Christmas presentes stolen overnight on Saturday.
Mrs Gurr, 40, said her husband John had been home but headed to the Gold Coast Sunday night after one of their children fell ill.
"My husband and son were going backwards and forwards for work, so there was almost always someone at home," she said.
"On Sunday night, my daughter with autism had the vomits with being in a different place with different surroundings and being the end of the year.
"She normally has meltdowns, but I wasn't expecting vomiting ... so my husband came down Sunday night to help, then he left at 2am to drive to work."
Mrs Gurr, a swimming instructor at OzSwim Aquatics in Greenbank, said her husband returned home Monday afternoon to find their home ransacked.
She said valuables such as laptops, cameras, jewellery and USB sticks with family photos on them were among the items stolen - as well as the Christmas presents the family had saved for over many months.
The presents included everything from clothes, to toys to an iPad for Harrison, 18, Tianna, 13, Cayden, 12, Teniyah, 8, Addison, 6, and Bentley, 4.
Mrs Gurr said she was mostly upset about the years of family photos taken on USB sticks.
"Presents can be replaced, we'll just have to go cheaper than what we have, but the photos are irreplaceable," she said through tears.
After hearing of her friend's plight, Michelle Keegan started a fundraiser on Facebook in the hope to raise $1000 to ensure the children could still receive presents in time for Christmas.
"I rang Tracey yesterday and asked her what she was going to do about Christmas and she started to cry and said she didn't know," she said.
"Tracey is the sort of person that, if someone else needed help, she'd be the first person to put her hand up," she said.
"It's devastating to think about the USB's with the photos," she said.
"If whoever took it could at least mail the USB's back or hand them in somewhere so they could at least have the photos of their kids back."
A Queensland Police spokesman said the Algester break in was under investigation.
He said there had been two other break-ins in Algester in the past week, but it was not yet known if they were related.
"There were no mention of Christmas presents in those break ins," he said.
"A lot of people tend to go away over Christmas, so we'd like to reinforce the message about securing your property and vehicles.
"If neighbours notice anything suspicious in their area, they should call police."