A cash box stolen from a Hastings business contained precious photos of the manager's late grandfather which he is desperate to get back.
Ferlin Fairgrieve was busy in the workshop of Welch McFaull Glass on Albert Street, when someone walked in and brazenly made off with the cash box. It contained about $800 in cash, some commemorative millennium notes, and photos of his grandfather that his father, sick with chronic liver disease, holds dear.
He is appealing for help from anyone that might have seen something or found the distinctive cash box the thief made off with, taken while he was working about 2pm on September 28.
"They've obviously taken advantage because they knew I was occupied and banging away there. Someone took the time to shut the door after them. I just feel that someone knew where it was being kept.
"With Dad being sick, it just gives you a foul taste in your mouth. I know it seems a trivial thing but I just thought if it was put out there, people might know someone, or the people [who stole it] might have a conscience."
While he had lost a sizeable amount of money, it was the loss of precious photos of his grandfather, that were of "no good use to anyone else" that hurt.
"I'd never met him. He died when my Dad was quite young. It's just really hard at the moment because Dad's pretty much on borrowed time. Those things mean more when you think you're going to lose someone. Obviously they meant a bit to him because he had them in his cash box for all those years.
"The money we won't get back, but it'd be nice to get the photos back, even if they put it in a tin and threw it over the fence. It'd be nice to catch those people who did it, but those photos are the main thing."
He said he had reported it to the police, and asked neighbours if they'd seen anything suspicious at the time.
Police are also seeking information from Hawke's Bay office workers who have noticed suspicious-looking strangers hanging around their building in the wake of a spate of thefts.
There have been several reported thefts of bags, wallets and electronic items from offices and reception areas in buildings in Napier and Hastings.
Police believe the thief is specifically targeting offices for the valuable items.
Constable Graham Hawkins said the thief had also targeted laptops, cellphones and iPods.
"When approached, he will give an excuse on why he is there, such as to get a drink of water, looking for a lawyer or looking for a friend," Mr Hawkins said.
"We are very keen to hear about incidents of this nature in offices or commercial buildings."
If you have noticed anyone acting suspiciously in an office or reception area in your building, please phone Mr Hawkins at Hastings Police on 06 873 0500.