Woman's historic family photos stolen

Woman's historic family photos stolen »Play Video
Pam spoke with KATU via Skype on Tuesday.

CLATSOP COUNTY, Ore. -- One hundred years of family history, stolen. And a local family is hoping you can help get it back.

The family said they collected more than 400 photographs from their family dating back to the 1800s and stored them in safes at their home on the coast in Clatsop County. The Clatsop County Sheriff's Office said someone broke into the home while the family was away and stole the safes with the photos inside.

The mother, Pam, does not want to use her last name for fear the thieves will try to repeat the crime. But she said the pictures mean so much to the family.

"It's a sense of belonging, a sense of identity, a sense of family," said Pam.

Pam said she thinks the thieves will open the safes, find the photos and dump them because they are not worth money. She said she worries the Oregon rains will ruin the pictures, and she hopes someone will see the pictures and contact KATU.

Pam said most of the photos cannot be replaced, though she found a few images online that help represent the collection. She said some of the photos are historic images from time when her great, great grandfather was a member of the notorious Stockton Gang in Durango, Colorado.

She said the thieves also took other things, like power tools, but those items do not have the same kind of value to the family.

"The other things can be replaced," she said. "Those photos are so important, not only to me, but to my children, my grandchildren. That was the main thing I was leaving them. I spent years putting together the family history."

She said there are also about 40 pieces of her mother's and grandmother's rhinestone jewelry missing. She said they are not very valuable in terms of money, but have a lot of sentimental value for the family.

Pam said she wrote the combination to the safes in marker on the safes, so if thieves broke in to the house, they would open the safes and see there was little of value in there.

If you see old pictures that could be from this family's collection, please contact the KATU news desk at thedesk@katu.com.