"I was so independent...now I have to rely on other people"
THIS year is already off to a rough start for Year 12 student Laura Gostelow after a car break-in has robbed her of important HSC work and independence.
The Richmond River High School student was celebrating the end of the school year with a dip at Marom Creek when her friend's car was broken into on the afternoon of December 15.
Returning to the car to find the window smashed in and her handbag stolen was devastating for the aspiring photographer. She said the money inside her wallet, which was in the handbag, was from the sale of a photograph to be spent on Christmas presents.
More importantly, the robbery has also affected her HSC studies with a USB containing one of her photography assignments and portfolio also stolen.
The 17-year-old from North Lismore has been left stranded and now plans her life, from planning photography shoots to going to the supermarket, around others months after securing her Provisional 1 licence.
"I was so independent and now I have to rely on other people, it sucks," Laura said.
Now, she is trying to earn the money needed to buy new car keys that were also stolen she said could cost upward of $400.
Two weeks later and Laura is no closer to finding her possessions, but she and her mother Kim Turner are determined to assist police to catch out the perpetrator.
Crime prevention officer, Senior Constable David Henderson said police investigations are continuing into the incident.
He said the break-in is a timely reminder to never leave valuables inside cars.