‘I don’t feel safe in my own home’

A COROWA single mother whose precious family photos were stolen in a burglary has urged others to be more security-conscious.

Melanie Stephens, 29, is the mother of Ella, 2, who suffers from a rare genetic disorder.

Ms Stephens and Ella were away from their Albert Street home for 24 hours from Sunday morning and when she returned on Monday, she found almost $2000 worth of electrical items stolen.

Her iPad, laptop, Samsung Galaxy tablet, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, iPhone and Kindle e-reader were gone and her drawers ransacked.

Her iPad held precious photos of Ella.

“I didn’t notice anything at first and then I noticed the PlayStation was gone and that’s when I started panicking,” Ms Stephens said.

She said thieves got in by removing a flywire screen and getting through the back bedroom window.

They had even ripped the wrapping off Christmas presents under her tree.

“It has put a dampener on Christmas,” Ms Stephens said.

“It’s not nice not feeling safe in your own home. I keep thinking they might come back.”

Ms Stephens doesn’t have home insurance, which she ceased when finances became tight.

She said her daughter required constant care and expensive speech therapy and physiotherapy for a condition known as cri du chat.

“Things have been really tight,” Ms Stephens said.

Her grandparents assist with the care of the active Ella, who tumbled around the lounge room floor with a constant grin on her face, blissfully unaware of what her mother was going through.

Specialists have told Ms Stephens it was unlikely Ella, who is beginning to walk with the help of a walker, would ever speak.

Ms Stephens shared her story in the hope anyone with information would help the Corowa police investigation.

She said it served as a reminder for others to lock their doors, windows and leave lights on when they’re away.

Anyone with information should phone Corowa police (02) 6033 1144 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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