A father has condemned a "pathetic" break-in that robbed his son's family of $2000 worth of collectibles and mementos while they were sheltering from bushfires in Wagga.
St Georges Basin resident Darren Lucas told The Daily Advertiser that his son fledDalmeny on the South Coast with his partner and two children when bushfire threatened their home.
"The two little kiddies were having trouble with the smoke and they were stressed out over whether the fires would hit Dalmeny or not," Mr Lucas said.
"They left for Wagga as my son's mother, my ex-wife, has been a resident of Wagga for 30-odd years.
"On the night they were due to depart Wagga [January 13], their car got broken into while it was in the driveway."
Mr Lucas said he had been trying to help his son recover some of the property that taken, with the biggest blow being the loss of items with sentimental value.
"I don't want to make too big of a thing of it as people have lost their lives, homes and livelihoods," he said
"The police have said there's a bit of theft going around. It's just sad.
"The mementos and valuables they lost are things they have had for 30-odd years. There was a gold nugget that I gave to my son 25 years ago. There were some gemstones and opals and little sapphires.
"My son is a chef and they took his vegetable seeds that he has been collecting over the years."
Mr Lucas said he had contacted pawn dealers in the area who had been helpful but he "probably won't get anything back".
"[My son] has made a police report. In these times of bushfires, stealing is a pathetic thing to do."
Mr Lucas said his son's home on the coast was saved by southerly winds.
In a general update on response to the bushfires, Riverina Police District stated that officers were "continuing to patrol bushfire affected areas" and help with aid and recovery while being "supported by additional officers who have been temporarily seconded from other areas within the state".