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New Westminster B&E takes treasure trove of family photos

Grant Campbell had spent hours upon hours on his computer restoring frayed and deteriorating family photographs. He doesn't have a television, so it was something he enjoyed doing.

Many of the pictures had been lost when a previous residence he lived in was flooded out, and he wanted to preserve the images the Campbell clan still had, especially those of his dear departed grandparents.

But late last week he got a call while at work from the New Westminster police saying his second-floor Uptown apartment had been broken into. The first thing he asked was whether his computer was still there. No, came the reply, there's nothing on your desk.

Campbell's heart sank.

"It was not great, because it was the data I can't get back, pictures, data, projects that I've worked on, stuff from school that I worked on 20 years ago," said Campbell, 30, who works in IT.

Since he grew up in the digital age, many of his own memories and work were stored on the computer. But not only was the monitor and tower gone, so was the hard drive on which he'd backed up all of his files, along with some cash and already wrapped Christmas presents.

His sister Morgan, 28, was "devastated" by the news.

"I'm going to start crying," said Morgan. "They were of all of our family, and I wished we had them on paper. I wished in retrospect we had printed them out and had a photo album."

Grant was pessimistic from the start about being able to get anything back.

"I'm not very hopeful, unfortunately. It's usually for a quick buck so they do everything they can to unload it."

Morgan, on the other hand, sprang into action. She hit social media posting a $500 reward on Facebook for the return of both the tower and hard drive, or $250 for just the hard drive. She tracked Craigslist to see if someone was trying to sell them online.

She frantically phoned pawn shops to see if they'd come across someone trying to get rid of a tall, white-and-blue computer tower, an ASUS 27-inch monitor and a hard drive. No luck there either. She also realized the calls were long shots since pawn shops have certainly heard similar sob stories many times before.

That doesn't mean she'll stop searching.

"I'm going to keep trying, if it's not this month it'll be next month. I'm just hoping somebody has it," said Morgan, who has received a lot of supportive messages but no leads. "No one needs the hard drive. The reward I'm offering is worth a lot more than the hard drive."

Those with any information on the computer can email blondie_1200@hotmail.com.

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