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Thieves wipe out family's baby photos

New parents Gurprit and Gary Sohi with their baby boy Manav. - Contributed photo
New parents Gurprit and Gary Sohi with their baby boy Manav.
— image credit: Contributed photo

A young Cloverdale family is reeling after thieves broke into their home last Friday night, going through all of their belongings in search of loot to steal.

Returning home Jan. 4 after dinner with family in Fleetwood, Gary and Gurprit Sohi were devastated to realize they’d been robbed.

“It looked like a tornado had hit our top floor. Clothing and anything and everything was ripped out,” Gary said, describing how the thieves meticulously went from room to room, rifling through their closets and drawers, taking anything of value – jewelry, cash, electronics.

But it was only after the couple discovered their camera and laptop computers were gone that the new parents realized something much more precious was taken: all of their photos of their son’s birth and pictures taken over the holidays, their first as a family in their home at 176 Street and 63 Avenue.

The loss has prompted new dad Gary to appeal to the public in the hopes their family’s priceless memories will be returned, no questions asked.

Missing are photographs of son Manav’s birth, their visit to the temple for important religious rites immediately following the birth plus images documenting the decorations family members put on their front door welcoming them home with their new baby.

The Sohis are reaching out with a plea to anyone who might know something. They hope someone will have a heart and return the 32-gig SD card from Gary’s Canon Rebel SLR. Contact him at g_sohi@gmail.com.

“The pictures are actually still on the camera,” he said.

The couple is so shaken by the invasion they were forced to spend two nights with family before returning home on Jan. 6.

Prior to leaving the house Jan. 4, the Sohis locked their doors and windows, closed the drapes and set their burglar alarm.

For added security, the home has bars on the basement windows. Gary also took care to engage the safety lock on the sliding doors the thieves used to gain entry – all standard operating procedure.

“My wife makes fun of me all the time,” he said. “She says I have OCD with locks.”

They left at around 5:30 p.m., went on an errand to Walmart and then headed to Fleetwood to have dinner with Gary’s parents. They returned home to Cloverdale between 9:30 and 10 p.m. to discover the door leading from the garage to the basement was open, along with a door to the yard. “I knew we had been hit,” said Gary.

Whoever broke into their home ripped the alarm’s horn out of the wall, so the alarm was technically going but there would have been no sound.

“After that, they just kind of went to town on the whole house.”

Neighbours on either side of the Sohis weren’t home either.

Gary would like to warn other residents to be on the alert – he said there was a similar incident a couple of weeks ago.

Despite the mess, Surrey RCMP investigators and forensic experts didn’t find much in the way of solid evidence at the crime scene. The Sohis were told it looked like a professional job.

“It’s an invasion of privacy knowing someone went through your things.”

His wife Gurprit feels like she’s not safe in her own house anymore.

“This is not how we expected to end our holidays and begin a new year,” Gary said.

The police told them there wasn’t much they could have done differently to avoid the theft, and are offering little hope they will solve the crime, or locate their stolen belongings.

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