Thief makes off with priceless letters, containing words of deceased father

Posted at 6:48 PM, Aug 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-01 21:54:07-04

A local woman says she is heartbroken after a thief ransacked her car and stole the written words of her dead father.

When Sue Laird walked to her Prius that was parked in her driveway on Elsa Road in Allied Gardens on Saturday morning, she found it unlocked. She got a sinking feeling, but  wasn't too upset at first.

A thief had tossed the car, $15 in cash was missing from the center console.

“If that's all they took, that's great,” said Laird.

But something else was missing.

“When I saw the papers gone, I was like, they have to be there. I became panicked,” said Laird.

In a compartment in the car she kept four folded pieces of paper, but they were nowhere in sight. Each piece of paper had written words that are close to Laird's heart.

“Well I came to work in tears, because I realized I couldn't find the emails,” said Laird.

Those four emails were written by her father John Davies to Laird, after doctors gave him five weeks to live, more than a decade ago. He suffered from lung and heart disease.

“He was everything to me. It was a farewell definitely. There were words of encouragement. He gave me advice on his grandson. He spoke of how much he appreciated me,” said Laird.

Often, Laird would sit in her car and read them.

“It was the one thing I referred to constantly, was that paper," said Laird.

“That's what they gave me. They connected me. Like I just talked to him on the phone. That was my connection. I try to mentally remember, but can only remember bits ands pieces,” said Laird.

Laird called her email provider, AOL, but those 10-year-old emails are too old to be recovered.      

For the thief, she has a message: keep the money.

“I just want the letters. That's all I want,” said Laird.

Laird says she kept the emails in her car because she didn't think a thief would ever grab papers.

If you have information on the case you are asked to call San Diego police.