News

Christmas grinch thieves leave family heartbroken

Most of young Aaliyah Rowlins (front) Christmas presents were stolen when thieves broke into Nick Paynter and Michaela Rowlin's car.
Most of young Aaliyah Rowlins (front) Christmas presents were stolen when thieves broke into Nick Paynter and Michaela Rowlin's car. Ali Kuchel

JUST two weeks before Christmas Michaela Rowlins and Nick Paynter are scraping together money to re-purchase presents after their car was ransacked in Toowoomba.

The Gatton couple had purchased all their Christmas presents and were staying at a friend's place in Toowoomba on their way back from Cambooya when their car was broken into.

They had wrapped presents for Michaela's three-year-old daughter Aaliyah, along with gifts for their entire family.

But on Monday night, heartless thieves opened presents and stole numerous gifts along with Mr Paynter's laptop and Xbox 1.

"I couldn't believe it, I just broke down in tears," Ms Rowlins said.

"It's hard because we bought those presents on a tough budget and we had to limit ourselves to certain things.

"What would someone possibly want with presents for other children?"

The thieves also took new underwear, Mr Paynter's shaving kit and his wallet.

Ms Rowlins and Mr Paynter were notified about the break-in at 6.30am by a neighbour, who found Christmas wrapping across his front lawn.

In a heartless act thieves in Toowoomba have stolen wrapped Christmas presents destined for children: http://ow.ly/VDpoX

Posted by The Chronicle on Tuesday, 8 December 2015

One car door was unlocked and Ms Rowlins said the thieves still targeted the car although the vehicle was inside their friend's property.

"We had everything but our blankets and pillows in the car," Ms Rowlins said.

Mr Paynter said he was disappointed in what people had taken from a child.

"This is our first Christmas where we were really trying to get something for everyone," Mr Paynter said.

"They rummaged through the car to find stuff … all the photos on my laptop can't be replaced, they're just memories."

Ms Rowlins said police had been at the scene to take fingerprints and had collected a cigarette butt.

Toowoomba Police Sergeant Susan Fort said an officer had been assigned to investigate the incident.

She reminded residents not to keep valuables in cars and to keep vehicles locked and secured.

If you'd like to help the family go to: gofundme.com/ejdwuzre

Topics:  christmas, gatton, theives, toowoomba


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Lake Apex playground gets face lift

SAFE AND SOUND: Thomas Feldhahn having fun at the renovated junior playground.

Lake Apex playground has been renovated to address safety issues.

Hazel the dog finds new forever family

NEW HOME: Hazel, the mastiff cross was adopted by Gloria and Ivan Trusz after they saw her photo in the Gatton Star.

Hazel's found a new home.

Local Partners

Fordsdale seeks back-to-back premierships

Gatton Fordsdale are getting ready to defend their A-Grade title in the upcoming season against new some faces.

Daddo to take the mic for Valley awards dinner

BACK IN TOWN: Daddo, speaking in 2014, returns this year to MC the dinner.

Andrew Daddo to host this year's Lockyer Valley awards dinner.

Lake Apex playground gets face lift

SAFE AND SOUND: Thomas Feldhahn having fun at the renovated junior playground.

Lake Apex playground has been renovated to address safety issues.

Hazel the dog finds new forever family

NEW HOME: Hazel, the mastiff cross was adopted by Gloria and Ivan Trusz after they saw her photo in the Gatton Star.

Hazel's found a new home.

Laidley Heights scenic views could be lost to big tower

Judy and Kevin Kelleher are calling for action against a 47 metre phone tower, proposed to be erected in Laidley Heights.

Proposed phone tower has residents angry.

Thornton braces for off-road racing action

FLYING HIGH:  High-flying racing comes to Thornton.

Thornton to place host to off-road racing.

Gat ready for Laidley's first Small Farming Expo

RURAL COMES FIRST: Expo co-ordinator Margo Hayes is an experienced Vitulus Lowline and Ozline breeder.

Get ready for the 2016 Small Farming Expo.

Classic car auction draws buyers from US, Dubai

"He wants everyone to enjoy the cars, the collection got too big'

The Dixie Chicks to headline 2017 CMC Rocks festival

US country music group The Dixie Chicks.

ORGANISERS move festival dates to lock in US country music stars.

What's on the big screen this week

Denzel Washington in a scene from the movie The Magnificent Seven.

DENZEL Washington returns in a shoot-em-up Western.

RECAP: The Bachelorette S2E3 - Which picnic date is better?

The Bachelorette Georgia Love, centre, with her top 11 bachelors.

Lee and Matt get some one-on-one time with Georgia.

Beach-side real estate starts at $85k on Fraser Coast

HERVEY BAY REAL ESTATE: You can buy this townhouse in Scarness for under $300k.

Live your beach-living dream locally.

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

First stages of $25 million housing development underway

New development on Madsen Rd - The Springs.

The blocks of land are much bigger than usual

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.