Stolen handbag ruins festive season for single mother

GRIM CHRISTMAS: Agatha Powell comforts Susie Latumahina, who had her handbag stolen on Monday.
GRIM CHRISTMAS: Agatha Powell comforts Susie Latumahina, who had her handbag stolen on Monday. Paul Braven

SINGLE mother-of-three Susie Latumahina has had her Christmas ruined because of her own generosity.

Instead of having a garage sale when she moved out of her Clinton home on Monday, she opened her home and offered her household items up to people who needed them.

But one of those people left with her handbag.

Inside was her mother's wedding ring, a ring from her sister, money for the next two weeks and, most upsetting for her, the chance to have a normal Christmas with three children.

Ms Latumahina mopped the front deck about noon on Monday while more than 20 people scrounged through her property, taking microwaves, beds, childrens toys and kitchenware.

"I was just concentrating on cleaning and then I went to get my phone to ring a taxi and it was gone," she said.

"I was asking my kids, 'where's my bag? where's my bag?', but it was gone."

Ms Latumahina asked her neighbour to call her number to see if it rang.

"It was fully charged but it didn't ring at all. Someone had turned it off," she said.

"That's when I started crying.

"I knew I had no way of calling my sister and auntie in Darwin and wishing them a merry Christmas."

The last two nights the unemployed mother, who is studying English at Tafe, has been having dinner at her friends' homes.

One friend, Agatha Powell, said it was disgusting people stole from someone who was trying to help them.

"They have robbed a single mum," she said.

"There will be no presents for the kids, no Christmas and no plate of food."

Son Robert, 8, said he just wanted his mum to get her bag back.

"It has really upset her," he said as he merrily played with his brother as if nothing had happened.

Topics:  christmas gladstone stealing thief

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