A HONEYMOONING couple had thousands of irreplaceable photographs stolen minutes before flying home from New Zealand.

Sarah and Steven Haskey had been enjoying a month-long trip of a lifetime to celebrate their wedding when thieves targeted their rental car.

And the couple, who were married in August at All Saints’ Church, Gresford, lost their passports, memory cards and camera equipment worth hundreds of pounds.

The pair only left their car for a five minute toilet break in Christchurch, 10 minutes from the airport, but on their return found a rear window smashed in, glass all over the back seat and a backpack containing their valuables was gone.

They were devastated when they realised they had lost every record of their happy honeymoon experiences.

Sarah said: “It was a really horrible thing to go through.

“I travelled the world with friends after leaving uni so I knew how to be sensible but we’d felt so safe in New Zealand. We just didn’t expect this to happen.

“Even so we were very vigilant throughout the trip because the Lonely Planet guide warned New Zealand had a problem with thieves picking on tourists and their cars.

“One lapse in judgment was all it took.”

When the Haskeys reported the theft to police they were told the area was a hotspot for crime of this kind so Sarah was shocked that there was no CCTV in operation.

She said: “At home the thieves would’ve been caught on camera so now we just want people to know this really is a major, major problem.

“I wouldn’t want it to stop anyone from travelling where they want to but it’s just a reminder how careful you have to be.”

On the day the happy couple had planned to fly home to their house on Beechley Road, Hightown, Wrexham, they instead found themselves making an emergency detour to Wellington to apply for new passports, a trip which cost them more than £600 each.

To make matters worse, on arriving home the couple found their insurance would not cover the stolen equipment as it had not been with them at the time.

In total the couple are out of pocket by more than £2,000 but it is the emotional loss which has hit the pair hardest.

Sarah added: “New Zealand is definitely our favourite holiday together but we’ve got a different view of the country now.

“Our loss has tarnished our opinion and our memories.”