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Couple's lifetime of memories stolen

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A FAMILY has had a lifetime of memories and mementoes wiped out after thieves stole virtually everything they own. Graeme and Jackie Mercer "went cold" when they opened the doors of the garage in Rochester to find 14 crates loaded with their belongings gone.

The couple had put their clothes, cutlery, crockery and power tools into the lock-up while they were looking for a new home.

The pair returned from a trip of a lifetime in October - 18 months back-packing around the world and have been staying with friends and family ever since.

They had been storing their belongings with friends in Gravesend but a few days ago, moved everything into storage in Medway. The boxes were due to be moved out within days.

The only items the thieves left were a few bags of clothes and some large pieces of furniture.

The Mercers say they can get over the loss of the material household goods but they are devastated about the theft of dozens of photo albums. The couple's wedding 36 years ago, their 25th anniversary, photographs of their three children - Sarah, 34, Amanda, 29 and Kolee, 32 - growing up and pictures of family days out over the past three decades have all been taken.

And the precious pictures of their incredible journey, which took in Thailand, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, have gone too. Graeme said: "It has wiped out our entire history. The photos are irreplaceable."

A family bible, detailing births, deaths and various significant events was also stolen, along with a silver cup which had been in the family for generations and an old statue that belonged to Jackie's mother.

The couple, who are staying with one of their daughter's in Cliffe, near Strood, have been out combing the streets for any sign of the albums, but they have not seen anything.

Police Sergeant Neil Owen said: "These are obviously irreplaceable items of no value to anyone else. I would encourage anyone with any information to come forward." If you have any information call Medway Police on 01634 884252 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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