TO SAY 2013 was a rough year for Bundaberg woman Ann Thrupp is a huge understatement.
Terminally ill and living on borrowed time, the 49-year-old mother of five lost her father, mother and husband within seven months.
And while nothing can replace the family members she lost, four precious elephant statues lining her driveway were bought on the day she scattered the ashes of her parents just over two weeks ago.
But those mementos have been ripped away from Mrs Thrupp.
Thieves stole the sentimental statues just a week after they were placed in her Walkervale garden.
Making an emotional plea to have them returned, Mrs Thrupp said she didn't care who had taken them.
"I don't need to know who it was," she said. "They know who they are. They know where they took them from. I'd just like to see them put back. I don't sit by the window each night. I just want to go out one morning and be able to say, 'Oh, you're back'."
Mrs Thrupp said since the statues had been stolen she'd been overwhelmed by the support from strangers and friends, with some even offering to replace them.
But Mrs Thrupp said it just wouldn't be the same.
"I don't buy many things for myself," she said. "But those were the ones I bought in memory of my mum and dad."
Mrs Thrupp said the statues were all slightly different shapes and colours, ranging from a 10cm-tall brown/bronze statue standing on all fours to a 60cm-tall silver-and-whitewash elephant with its trunk raised.
Mrs Thrupp said she did not hear any noise during the night the statues went missing, but imagined it would take more than one person to take off with all four statues.
"Unless they had a car waiting I don't think it could have been one person because they weren't light," she said.
Mrs Thrupp said if the statues were returned she would be reluctant to keep them in the garden.
"It's sad to think I couldn't have them in the garden for myself and others to enjoy," she said.
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