A HEARTBROKEN gym owner has made an emotional public appeal for help to find her stolen laptop.
Cheryl Washbourne was devastated after thieves smashed their way into the Boldon Body Forge in Hedworth Lane, Boldon Colliery, at the weekend.
They left behind a trail of destruction after forcing their way in through the roof, and ripping out the CCTV system.
However, it was a laptop taken in the raid, containing irreplaceable family photos, that has left the 28-year-old heartbroken.
Mrs Washbourne, who has owned the gym for just over a year, said: “They left behind a lot of mess, but it’s the laptop being stolen that has really hurt me.
“It contained all my wedding photos, and pictures of my husband’s mam who died last year, as well as pictures of my two grandads who also died last year.
“I’m not bothered about the laptop itself. It’s the pictures on it, as they are irreplaceable.
“It’s just devastating. It has been suggested it could have been someone who has been into the gym, and that just makes it even more hard to bear.”
It is thought the thieves broke their way into the building overnight on Saturday.
The burglary was discovered the next day when staff opened up the gym. Mrs Washbourne added: “We have told our friends on Facebook about the break-in and asked them to share it in the hope I can get the laptop back. And we have had so much support. I would just please ask anyone who is offered the laptop for sale, or finds it, to please bring it back to me.”
Her husband Kevin is offering a reward for the return of the five-year-old Packard Bell laptop, which is password encrypted, and the photos.
Anyone with information, who saw people acting suspiciously in the area around the time of the break-in, or has been offered a laptop for sale, is asked to ring police on 101.