William, Annie and Shellie Joseph are upset heartless thieves have stolen the tool box of their recently deceased father and husband Matthew.
William, Annie and Shellie Joseph are upset heartless thieves have stolen the tool box of their recently deceased father and husband Matthew. Craig Warhurst

Dad’s legacy stolen by heartless thieves

LESS than four months after Mary Valley dad Matthew Joseph died of a heart attack on the way to hospital, callous thieves have broken into his family's property and stolen the legacy he left his eight-year-old son.

Matthew's wife, Annie, fights back the tears as she talks about life since her 50-year-old husband died in the back of an ambulance on January 24.

Caring for her devastated children and trying to maintain and run the family's acreage between Imbil and Kenilworth has not been easy, even with the help of Matthew's kind-hearted friends and acquaintances.

Matthew, a former mechanic, who had been working week-on week-off in the coal seam gas industry at Tara, had just returned home the night before he died.

That following morning, he complained of a pain so low in his chest it was almost in his stomach, Annie said.

When they called the local doctor the surgery was closed. They met up with the ambulance half way to hospital, but by then it was too late.

Matthew's red Stanley tool box, worth about $4500 and full of high quality tools, had since then remained in the shed not far from the house on Coonoongibber Creek Rd.

"The kids have been going up to the shed all the time," Anne said. "They are clinging on to anything they had of their dad's. I've been telling our son, when he gets older that toolbox will be his."

Annie says the toolbox was taken sometime between Sunday, May 5, and last Saturday, May 11.

She believes the thief must have known of her family and what had befallen them, as they went straight to the shed and took the most expensive thing there.

"We have just been trying to get by," she said, breaking down. "I just don't understand how anybody could do something like this."

Matthew's mates have since been out to fix the gate into the property and put some bolts on the shed.

Anybody who may have seen the tool box or who knows anything about its disappearance can contact Imbil police on 5484 5222 or Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.

Gympie Times


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