Laura DeBeau is pleading for the return of a box...

Laura DeBeau is pleading for the return of a box containing hundreds of photographs of her only two children -- sons who died more than a decade ago in separate car crashes two years apart. (June 28, 2011) Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

A Westbury woman is pleading for the return of a box containing hundreds of photographs of her only two children -- sons who died more than a decade ago in separate car crashes two years apart.

Laura DeBeau said the box of pictures, a light jacket and a cellphone charger were the only items stolen when someone broke into her car last week while it was parked in front of her home on Land Lane.

"I was in the process of separating them, in date order," DeBeau, 45, said Tuesday. "Both my sons are deceased. I don't have anything else."

She said she hoped whoever took the pictures would return them -- no questions asked. "Just take them to 115 Land Lane. Knock on the door. Leave them in the driveway. I don't care," she said.

Her son Reefe was 18, a senior at Division Avenue High School in Levittown when the car the car he was driving struck a tree in Levittown on April 25, 2000.

Her son Deene, 13, was an eighth grader at Wisdom Middle School in Levittown when the car he was riding in crashed into another vehicle in Seaford on Jan. 10, 1998.

DeBeau, a supply clerk at Nassau University Medical Center, said she had accumulated the pictures -- "I don't know, I'd say maybe a thousand" -- over the years and had recently taken them with her on a trip to Pennsylvania to see relatives.

She left the box in Pennsylvania and a family member returned it to her recently, she said. "I put it in the backseat of the car. I meant to bring it upstairs. And every day I forgot," she said.

She said she came out of the apartment she rents at the house on Land Lane to go to work shortly before noon on Thursday and noticed a bicycle on the lawn that she didn't recognize.

When she got to her 1997 Nissan Altima, she noticed that the rear passenger window on the driver's side had been broken, and the box and other items were missing.

A spokesman for the Nassau County Police Department confirmed that DeBeau had filed a larceny report with the Third Precinct that day.

She said she was making the public plea in part because she thought the thief or thieves might have thrown away the box or the pictures.

"If they're out there somewhere, maybe tossed on someone else's property, I want whoever finds them to return them," she said.

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