Walsall mother appeals for thief to return priceless family photos

A mother from Walsall is appealing to the thief who stole her family photos during a wake to return them.

Joanne Baker was at the wake of her husband’s grandad when a robber smashed her car window and stole her purse.

The family were forced to miss the event at Streetly Crematorium on Tuesday (11 Feb) when Joanna realised what had happened.

She says her family have been left devastated because nearly 15 years’ worth of family photos were kept on USB sticks in the handbag - they were the only copies.

15 USB sticks full of videos and pictures of her children growing up, family days out and her wedding day were all stolen.

Joanne Baker on her wedding day

Joanne says she kept the photos in her purse having been left traumatised after all of her own childhood photos were destroyed in a house fire years ago.

She told ITV Central that the thief can “keep the bag.” She just wants the USB sticks back.

Appealing directly to the thief, she said: “They mean nothing to you. Keep the bag. I don’t care. I just want the photos back."

The purse also contained a notepad with details of Ms Baker's bank accounts, online passwords, as well as information about her children’s trust funds.

Within hours of the robbery, Halifax told her the thief had already tried to set-up an online banking account in her name.

Smashed car window

Ms Baker said she had a panic attack on the night of the funeral and was sent home early from work yesterday because of the pain caused by the robbery.

She said:

There will be a reward for the return of the memory sticks. We aren’t rich, but I will give anything to have them back.”

Joanna Baker
Family photo