'Broken' Mom Writes Letter To Thief Who Stole Her Family's Trailer Filled With Treasures

August 12, 2018

A family in Northern California packed their trailer with all of their most valuable possessions in case they needed to evacuate their home due to the raging Carr Fire.

Then it was stolen.

The "broken" mother wrote an open letter to the thief on Facebook. This is what she wrote...

broken mom letter to thief who stole trailer
Credit: Megan Cartwright Bonnin

"Dear Sir that stole my family's trailer.

I just wanted to start off by telling you how sad I am for you, as you must be in desperate times and needing help.

I wish you knew us and could've asked for help. We would've figured something out to help you.

However, you used very poor logic and reasoning to make such a poor and hurtful choice. I want you to know that the trailer is quite valuable, but not for the reasons that you took it.

By now, you must have busted the door in and have taken a look around to see all the treasures that you acquired.

However, these “treasures” are not going to do you much good.

You see sir, our family wasn't packing for vacation or a weekend in the woods.

We packed in the wee dark hours of the morning two weeks ago, when fire was raging over the hillside into our beloved neighborhood.

We woke our kids in time for them to pick a few things they treasured.

If you are relaxing on our couch, you had to move a few items.

My nine year olds baby blanket was sitting there. He still sleeps with it every night, but that particular day, he decided to keep it in the trailer for safekeeping and to look brave.

You also had to move my 14 year olds baseball jersey from last summer when his team won a division championship.

Sir, have you ever been on a team? It takes hard work, perseverance and dedication. It comes with celebrations and disappointments. I'm guessing you didn't play well on a team or you would've been surrounded by people that love and care about you as if you were an extension of family.

That jersey may look like any shirt to you, but not for him.

You may find yourself having to move a swing seat to the side. My oldest son ran out to our front yard that morning and removed the tree swing that he, his siblings and close friends have all grown up swinging on. He couldn't imagine it being melted in the fire. It has no value to you, but means everything to them.

You may also now be annoyed that there is a bike blocking your path. No, it's not valuable in terms of money. It's my son's bike that he got for Christmas. You see Sir, he's a middle child, and most everything he has is a hand me down. This bike was his first bike that nobody else rode before him. If you look close enough, you'll see the sticker with his name that an uncle carefully handcrafted for him.

You may also be annoyed with a set of golf clubs. This set of clubs is on their third generation in our family. They were passed down to my son, by his uncle, so he could continue the passion our family has had for the game. We don't particularly put a ton of value in golf clubs, but they are a special heirloom we were trusted with.

If you have moved to the kitchen table, you are surrounded by tiny treasures that belong to my six year old daughter. Sir, have you been around a six year old girl lately? Everything is special to a six year old girl! She saves every rock, jewel, stick and doesn't forget.

If you are still sitting there, you'll probably notice the trailer is fully packed with the silly things that she loves. If you get bored, you can play her games, put together her puzzles and play with her dolls. You are probably weary from your day of running and hiding from the law.

If you lay down in my bed, which already gives me nightmares to imagine, you can look up and see 20 photo albums on the shelf. Starting from when I was a baby to my third child, these albums were carefully and lovingly made to be a legacy to my children. They aren't just photo albums, but my heart. I journaled everything on each page.

You see Sir, I knew, someday, I would no longer remember how much they weighed or when they took their first steps or the cute things they did or said.

I wrote everything down and you have that in your possession. That is all I want back!

If you have thoroughly investigated, you will have noticed my kids piggy banks. They are not rich in cash flow, but their money is from the tooth fairy, Birthdays, and the occasional reward for a job well done. If you asked them nicely, they would've given it all to you.

Sir, they are learning to put others first and have kind hearts. You could learn a lot from them.

I am most certain you have found all of our important documents that we were keeping safe from the fire. You have the potential to destroy our identity. I hope and pray you leave us alone. You may have thought to yourself, must be nice to have a trailer, it does seem like an unnecessary luxury.

Sir, have you worked hard everyday for 20 years? Do you have any discipline, commitment, perseverance,passion, work ethic? Sir, my husband and I have worked hard in our careers for 20 years. We do not go on extravagant vacations very much. The trailer was purchased for our sweet family to travel, laugh, play, and build memories together. Even if you manage to destroy or never give back our trailer, you cannot steal the love our family shares.

I hope and pray that you have family somewhere that can love you and forgive you.

Most importantly, I pray for your soul. You have shown that you are on a very rocky path with very little hope.

A person that kicks a family when they are already down is a person filled with wickedness. Thanks to you, my family, that has a new fear of fire danger, now has fear of thieves!

I urge you sir, do the right thing and surrender and get your life on track.


A broken mom"

A few days after her post went viral, Bonnin posted an update with good news.

"UPDATE! Trailer was recovered, stuff missing!!! We just found out and were hoping to give law enforcement a chance to investigate. Still hopeful, things are recovered and grateful to have part of this mystery solved. Thank you all for your sharing and kind words. It was everyone working together to get the word out! Let's keep looking for the rest!"

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