A couple who lost $100,000 worth of precious belongings after their storage facility was robbed were initially told they would not be compensated for their loss despite being insured.
Craig Johnson and husband Norman Meader placed their belongings in a storage facility when they moved from Goulburn to Albury in New South Wales earlier this month.
But they returned to the facility a few weeks later to find everything they owned was gone.
The couple issued a desperate plea for help on social media.
Craig Johnson (pictured right) and husband Norman Meader (pictured left) placed their belongings in a storage facility when they moved from Goulburn to Albury in New South Wales earlier this month
‘We found out that the storage unit in Albury we had all our 20 years of married life things stored in until we moved into our new home was robbed,’ Mr Meader wrote.
‘We lost pretty much everything – artwork, furniture, family heirlooms, even our wedding pictures.
‘The police can’t do much and the insurance company just told us they won’t honour the claim … maybe someone will see these things in an art gallery or antique store or garage sale or an opp shop … anything any help would be appreciated.’
Mr Johnson said the robbery was reported to facility managers PRDnationwide Albury, but was told storage facility theft was on the rise in the area over the last six months, news.com.au reported.
He also said the couple reported the matter was investigated by police and forensics dusted for fingerprints, and the lock appeared to have been removed with bolt-cutters, or with a key.
But the couple (pictured) returned to the facility a few weeks later to find everything they owned was gone.
But despite insuring the contents of their home for $140,000, insurer NRMA initially rejected their claim.
‘We had insured all our home contents with NRMA for $140,000 in previous years but because we didn’t tell them we had put it somewhere else, they said they’re not paying,’ Mr Johnson said.
The stolen goods included paintings by Australian artist Sandro Nocentini, rosewood furniture, crystal dinner sets, a family watch from the 1920s, rugs, clocks, and 100-year-old heirlooms from Mr Meader’s old farming family.
‘The paintings are absolutely unique — there aren’t two of them anywhere in the world, so hopefully someone will get tripped up with them because you can’t sell them and say they were your grandmother’s or something,’ Mr Johnson said.
‘We lost pretty much everything – artwork, furniture, family heirlooms, even our wedding pictures’ Mr Johnson said (pictured: a clock that was stolen)
The stolen goods (pictured) included paintings by Australian artist Sandro Nocentini, rosewood furniture, crystal dinner sets, a family watch from the 1920s, rugs, clocks, and 100-year-old heirlooms from Mr Meader’s old farming family
Mr Nocentini also issued a social media call-out to help the couple track down their lost items, offering a painted gift for anyone with information.
‘Have you seen this work?’ he asked on Instagram, and relayed the story.
‘Among all missing things are also two artworks I painted about 25 years ago. Dated 1996 – Anna at La Perouse … If you know anything about them, please let me know.
‘I will be happy to gift one of my small works to thank those who provide us with the information which leads to the location and return of these paintings.’
Mr Nocentini also issued a social media call-out to help the couple track down their lost items, offering a painted gift for anyone with information
Mr Johnson advised others not to place their possessions anywhere without CCTV, and to always contact the insurance company to ensure you’re covered in the event of theft.
NRMA Insurance spokesperson Tim Potter told Daily Mail Australia they understand the loss of personal items can be ‘distressing for customers.’
‘It’s important we speak with our customers about the items they want to put in storage and understand whether we can provide full or partial cover,’ Mr Potter said.
‘There may be limits or exclusions for certain items stored outside the home.
‘We’ve reviewed the claim and believe we will be able to provide cover for a number of the stolen items and we’re now working through this with our customers.’