Heartless thieves snatch bag from Preston play centre containing precious memories of Blackpool woman's tragic loss

Have your say

A young Blackpool woman who tragically lost her baby during pregnancy has appealed to thieves to return a bag which contained precious baby scans.

Sophie Rea, 22, from Blackpool, had been on a family day out to Mini's Party and Play Centre at the Old Brewery in Lodge Street on Tuesday, April 9, when her backpack was snatched at around 2.45pm.

Do you recognise this pair? Police want to identify them in relation to a theft at Mini Magees play centre in Preston on Tuesday, April 9.

Do you recognise this pair? Police want to identify them in relation to a theft at Mini Magees play centre in Preston on Tuesday, April 9.

Sophie had been busy playing with her young nephew and had briefly left her backpack unattended. When she returned, it had disappeared.

After searching the play centre and having no luck, Sophie asked staff to review CCTV.

Sophie said she couldn't believe her eyes when the footage showed a young couple with a child grabbing her Minnie Mouse backpack and stuffing it inside their own bag, before making a hasty getaway.

Sophie said the backpack contained more than £200 in possessions, including cash, keys, passports and a birth certificate.

But a heartbroken Sophie revealed that the one item that cannot be replaced is a scan of her unborn son who tragically died during pregnancy before Christmas.

Sophie said: "There was about £200 worth of items stolen from me along with personal, non-replaceable items.

"Most of the items were meaningless or useless to anyone but myself but meant a lot to me and were important one way or another.

"It is the few priceless and meaningful items that I just can't replace, such as things from my pregnancy loss, which really hurt.

"I had keyring photos of family, including my baby scan, family photos and baby photos, items I got in relation to a miscarriage.

"Also things that I got from my first date with my partner. I know all that sounds meaningless and silly but it's really upsetting that it's all gone.

"Thankfully I do have other scan photos, but that doesn't take away the pain of it all.

She added: "It's a weird feeling when something so personal is stolen from you.

"Knowing that somebody is going through your personal belongings, that they could so easily steal, bin or discard something that means so much to myself.

"It makes me not want to carry anything anymore and makes you not trust anyone.

"What kind of people steal from a children's play area anyway?

"To steal from another family with children around the same age as their own. It's just atrocious."

Police have now shared the CCTV images and are appealing for information that might identify the suspects.

A police spokesman said: "The identity of the male and female is required in relation to a theft that occurred on Tuesday, April 9 at Mini's Party and Play Centre in Preston.

"If you have any information that can help identify the man and woman, please email PC Adderley on 67@lancashire.pnn.police.uk, quoting log reference LC-20190409-1065."