Thief steals memories of terminally ill wife
FOR Rick Mackrell, the text messages and contacts stored inside his mobile phone are nothing compared to the precious family photos it also holds.
The Golden Beach man is desperate to get back his stolen mobile phone, which contains many precious images of his terminally ill wife.
Photos of family holidays, anniversaries and special moments were among those stored on the iPhone 5S, which was swiped in a car break-in on Tuesday while Rick was kitesurfing at Happy Valley, Caloundra.
The phone, cash and a kite worth $2500 were stolen after a thief or thieves spied Mr Mackrell placing a key under his car's chassis before he headed to the beach.
"I just want the photos back," Mr Mackrell said.
"I don't care about the kite or the cash, I just want the phone.
"It's photos that I can't replace."
Mr Mackrell's wife, Lisa, 42, was diagnosed with bowel cancer almost four years ago.
She has stage 4 cancer and the family - the couple has two children - are savouring their final moments together.
Mrs Mackrell's diagnosis has been a devastating blow for the family, and Mr Mackrell is not working as he cares for his sick wife.
"It's more than just a phone to me, it's stolen photos and memories," Mr Mackrell said.
While he admitted it was unwise to place the key under his car, he said it was the first time he had done it, after he accidentally left his key safe at home.
Car theft and vehicle break-ins have been a worrying trend on the Sunshine Coast in recent months, particularly at beachside locations.
Mr Mackrell reported the incident to police, who brushed the car doors for finger prints.
"I always make sure I have my proper key lock, but it was the first time I've forgotten and it was the first time I've been kitesurfing in a long time," Mr Mackrell said.
"I guess it's a good message to always make sure your keys and car are safe."
The missing kite is a 2015 Liquid Force Envy 12-metre model. The iPhone 5 was in a black case.
Anyone with information can contact PoliceLink on 131 444, or phone Mr Mackrell on 0459 996 039 to arrange a pick-up point.
Never lose photos on the iPhone
- Make the most of the Apple iCloud system - back up your phone regularly
- Move photos to a Dropbox as a back-up system
- Regularly save photos on your computer