Thieves steal hearing aids, ransack Cabarrus County home while deaf woman slept

Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 9:27 PM EDT
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CABARRUS COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - Being the victim of a crime is a terrible thing, especially when they come into your home. Maybe you or a friend has been a victim in the past.

For one woman thieves not only stole things that belonged to her, they stole her livelihood. Laura Neesmith is deaf, and on Monday night someone broke in and stole the one thing she needs desperately – her hearing aids.

“It’s like taking away a wheelchair from someone who can’t walk. My hearing aid is my life,” Neesmith said.

Laura Neesmith didn’t just have her home broken into, she had part of her life ripped away.

“I feel lost, I’m depressed, I haven’t gotten out of bed.” she said.

Neesmith’s hearing aids help her where her ears do not. Late Monday night, she says somebody came in through the unlocked front door and stole the equipment that helps her hear, plus iPads, a television and other devices she uses to make a living.

“I teach American sign language and I can’t teach without that equipment so, it’s like a total loss so not only did I lose my equipment but I lost my income as well,” Neesmith said.

Not only were precious items stolen, she says the thieves destroyed the inside of her home while they were scouring for something to steal.

Neesmith dedicates her life to rescuing dogs, she has nine of them in her house. The fact none of the dogs alerted her to an intruder leaves Neesmith wondering if it was someone the animals have met before.

“It was somebody who knew my dogs, therefore somebody who knew I was deaf. Otherwise this wouldn’t have happened I don’t think,” says Neesmith.

Neesmith’s sister Adriana Tice was staying in an upstairs bedroom at the time of the break in.

“That morning I woke up at 7:30, door’s wide open. I’m like, of my gosh, somebody was in our home.” said Tice.

Boxes and packing material were still strewn around the yard from where they are dropped or discarded. Neesmith knows it could have been worse. Whoever broke in, could have come after her. But it wasn’t just hearing aids or iPads they stole, it was a sense of security.

“And the fact they would do that when I was asleep I feel completely violated like, I don’t feel safe on my property anymore,” Neesmith said.

She says she’s hoping her homeowners’ insurance will help cover the cost to replace her hearing aids, but there’s no guarantee they will.

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