THIEVES have stolen a mobile phone containing priceless pictures of a salon owner’s late father.
Jacqueline Mitchell, owner of Mitchell and Smith salon, is mourning her father after he died in hospital nearly two weeks ago.
Her grief was compounded on Wednesday when two men claiming to want to book hair cuts swiped the Samsung Galaxy 3 handset from the salon.
The phone’s memory card contains pictures of Ms Mitchell’s father with his grandchildren in his final days.
She is now appealing for anyone with any information to come forward and help police catch the culprits and find the stolen property.
Ms Mitchell said: “I don’t suppose these people have a conscience but, if they see the pictures, hopefully they’ll realise what they’ve done.
“It’s just so saddening to think that his grandchildren hadn’t seen him for years and the pictures of him with them are now gone.
“I’d tried to download them to back up the files the other night but had some problems with my computer.
“Now it’s very unlikely my family will see the pictures again.”
Ms Mitchell said the offenders were of ‘eastern European descent’.
One was around 5ft 5in with a shaved head and a goatee beard.
The other was around 5ft 8in with long, curly, slicked back hair.
Ms Mitchell said: “They came in under the pretence of wanting to arrange hair cuts.
“My phone was on the side at the back of the salon as we were working late and, as soon as they left, I realised it was gone.
“I’d just like to warn anyone working in town to make sure they keep their phone on them because there are dishonest people out there.”
A Staffordshire Police spokesman said: “Two men went into the at approximately 6.30pm and left a few minutes later.
“The owner realised her mobile phone had been stolen.
“The blue Galaxy 3 phone was in a zebra-skin-patterned case.
“The owner and police are appealing to the offenders to return the phone, which has been reported to the service provided as stolen and will no longer work.
“Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 quoting reference 584 of 15 January.”