IT turned out to be a weekend full of surprises for the Sargent family who returned from a surprise birthday party in Bathurst on March 29 to find their north Orange house had been burgled and around $10,000 worth of their possessions stolen.
Jen Sargent said it was rare for her husband Brenden and their eight sons to have a night away but on this occasion she planned to surprise her husband by having his family, who live in Bathurst, attend his 40th birthday party.
“I was horrified when I realised what had happened,” Mrs Sargent said.
“They jimmied open the bathroom window to get in.”
Once inside intruders stole a range of items including electrical equipment such as a laptop, five iPods, an iPad, Nintendo DS, an Xbox 360, a PlayStation 3, computer games, a camera and a video camera, as well as a range of household items such as kitchen knives.
The family’s computer was also stolen along with a hard drive.
“My whole life is on that computer, including pictures of the kids, I’d backed it up on the hard drive, but that’s gone too,” she said.
Mrs Sargent said the break and enter couldn’t have occurred at a worse time, her husband recently lost his job and she’s four months pregnant.
To make ends meet Mrs Sargent is working two jobs while going to TAFE.
“My whole life is on that computer, including pictures of the kids, I’d backed it up on the hard drive, but that’s gone too"
Mrs Sargent said the family did not have contents insurance so she doesn’t know how they’ll replace the stolen items.
“By now they’ve probably sold them,” she said.
Mrs Sargent said police had recovered a couple of the smaller times, including one iPod, but the majority of items are yet to be found.
Following a tip-off, she found pieces of her jewellery box, a smashed computer screen and some DVDs dumped in a nearby drain.
“Now I’m desperate to move, but it’s hard to find a five-bedroom house. At the moment there’s only three of them for rent in Orange,” she said.
Mrs Sargent said she doesn’t know why her family was targeted.
“We’re hard working ... my husband is struggling to find work after losing his job six weeks ago,” she said..
“We’re just trying to juggle kids.
“After this I don’t know if I want to live in Orange anymore, especially around this area.”