HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Moiliili family still reeling from the death of a family member earlier this year was hit by auto thieves who stole their only vehicle over the weekend, just days before Christmas.
"The car was parked right here," said Lisa Rivera, who showed Hawaii News Now parking stall 11 at her apartment complex at 845 University Ave., where she said her Green 2001 Dodge Durango was stolen between Friday night and Saturday morning.
"It's really depressing, because now I have to struggle to find a way to get around and find a way to get the kids to school when school starts up," Rivera said.
Rivera -- who's on welfare -- has four daughters aged seven months through 15 years old living at their two-bedroom apartment in Moiliili.
The three school-aged girls attend three different public schools.
The girls' aunt, Leslie Meacham, said, "It affects the kids the most, you know. It's like their main source of transportation."
Rivera said someone stole the SUV between about 10 p.m. Friday, when she returned from a shopping trip, and 6 a.m. Saturday.
Inside the stolen vehicle: a baby stroller, car seat, unwrapped Christmas gifts she was hiding from her girls and a computer tower with family photos, Rivera said.
"Pictures that I can never get back," Rivera said. "It's stored inside the tower. 'Cause I was going to take it somewhere and have it all taken out on a flash drive."
Meacham said the situation is: "Sad, because they're already going through enough trying to deal with doing what they can without the Dad."
She's referring to Ricky Donre, 38, Rivera's partner of 15 years and father of four of her children. The Waikiki Chili's restaurant cook was killed in May in a hit-and-run accident when he was riding his Moped home from work.
"It's been really hard since he's been gone, financially, 'cause he used to work. And I can't work, I have take care of the baby," Rivera said.
They're hoping that video cameras in the apartment parking structure could have captured the auto thief or thieves.
"They catch the person, and they can get back their stuff," Meacham said.
The family is appealing to anybody who saw anything or knows anything about the auto theft to call the police.
Anyone wanting to contact the family can email Rivera's sister Leslie Meacham at email@example.com.