Laptop stolen in Avondale contains photos of woman's late mother

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Chelsea Wilkes had her laptop stolen while staying at a hotel in Avondale. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Chelsea Wilkes had her laptop stolen while staying at a hotel in Avondale. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
She said the laptop was under the driver's seat and it contained some of the last pictures she has of her mom. (Source: Chelsea Wilkes) She said the laptop was under the driver's seat and it contained some of the last pictures she has of her mom. (Source: Chelsea Wilkes)
She's hoping 3,000 retweets will get her laptop - and those precious memories - back. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) She's hoping 3,000 retweets will get her laptop - and those precious memories - back. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
AVONDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

A family on their way to Mexico said their car was broken into in Avondale. All of their vacation items were stolen, but something else a little more precious was also taken.

"The handle and lock were completely broken," said Chelsea Wilkes. "They had just smashed the lock and gotten in through that."

Wilkes said her family vacation to Mexico did not start on a good note after they stopped at an Avondale Homewood Suites hotel to rest.

"We feel so violated by what happened and distrusting of people," Wilkes said. 

They say they called police after their black Excursion was broken into overnight Friday. And her laptop, a gray MacBook Pro with a Lilo and Stitch sticker on it, was stolen. 

"I don't have backup computers. I don't keep things on CDs much anymore," Wilkes said.

She said the laptop was under the driver's seat and it contained some of the last pictures she has of her mom.

"I lost my mom in 2015 when I was 18 years old," Wilkes said. "It was very sudden. It was a car accident."

Wilkes, who lives in California, posted on Twitter and was overwhelmed with the response. 

"It actually kind of blew up a little bit, more than I expected," Wilkes said. "The response has been so kind for the most part."

She's hoping 3,000 retweets will get her laptop - and those precious memories - back. 

"The response has been so kind, and for every bad person, the tweet blowing up so much has made me realize for every bad person there's (sic) 100 good people," Wilkes said. "One hundred kind people who are willing to help, willing to console."

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Lindsey ReiserLindsey Reiser is a Scottsdale native and an award-winning multimedia journalist.

Click to learn more about Lindsey

Lindsey Reiser

Lindsey returned to the Valley in 2010 after covering border and immigration issues in El Paso, TX. While in El Paso she investigated public corruption, uncovered poor business practices, and routinely reported on the violence across the border.

Lindsey feels honored to have several awards under her belt, including a Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Award, Hearst Journalist Award, and several National Broadcast Education Association Awards.

Lindsey is a graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, and she currently serves as a mentor to journalism students. She studied for a semester in Alicante, Spain and also earned a degree in Spanish at ASU.

She is proud to serve as a member of United Blood Services’ Community Leadership Council, a volunteer advisory board for the UBS of Arizona.

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