Burglars steal more than just wedding rings - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Burglars steal more than just wedding rings

Memories, emotions associated with items can never be replaced

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Posted: Thursday, October 4, 2012 12:00 am

COEUR d'ALENE - Coeur d'Alene resident Betty Turner left her cherished jewelry at home on Monday because she was afraid to lose any of it while she spent the afternoon boating on Hayden Lake.

But during the afternoon, as she enjoyed the summer-like weather, a brazen daytime burglary was taking place at her home on the 5700 block of N. Isabella Drive, just off Dalton Avenue.

Turner said her wedding ring and her late husband Gene's wedding band were taken by the burglar or burglars, who also snatched a bracelet he bought her worth thousands of dollars to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.

"If I didn't get anything back but his ring, I'd be so happy," she said.

When he was going through chemotherapy, he'd always take his white-gold wedding band off and give it to her to wear.

Since his death, she wore it every day on her ring finger, held in place by her wedding ring.

Gene, 74, died last October, and a couple days before he passed she slipped it off his finger for the last time.

As the burglars went through her house, they opened up the urn with Gene's ashes, partially taking the wooden box apart looking for valuables.

"It sent me off into the deep for a bit," she said. "Just the thought that they messed with it."

Whenever she wasn't wearing the jewelry, she would always keep it in a safe. But on Monday, as she rushed to get ready for the lake, she accidentally left the valuables sitting on the washing machine in a small wooden bowl.

"They must have thought, 'She left us a present,'" she said of the burglars.

She said the engraving on his wedding band says something like: "I love you more today than yesterday, and less than tomorrow."

She didn't have pictures of the jewelry she could share with The Press.

Gene's wedding band, like the other jewelry, might be replaced by insurance, but, she said, "It will never be the one I took off his hand."

As for the bracelet, which Gene bought five years ago, a replacement "won't be the one he picked out for me all by himself."

To get inside her home, the burglars kicked in a door to the garage, according to a Coeur d'Alene Police Department report. The report estimated the value of her stolen jewelry at $9,000.

If the jewelry isn't recovered, she said, she hopes to do what she and Gene talked about many times before - go and again try and find his first wedding band.

Years ago, they were renting a house in Sandpoint and he was picking rocks out of the yard.

He tossed one rock and the band went flying off with it.

"It just went glittering in the sun," she recalled.

They searched the field, but they never found it. The wedding band was engraved with something like: "Betty to Gene, 6-6-57."

Betty and Gene always talked about returning with a metal detector.

"I would love to go and look for it one more time," she said.

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  • Rationale posted at 4:10 pm on Tue, Oct 9, 2012.

    Rationale Posts: 1976

    Well, that tactic is going to backfire. When someone knocks, I look at who it is before I answer the door. If I do not know them, I don't answer. And my cars are in a garage without windows...so they will never know anybody is home!

    If they try to break in, they will die of lead poisoning!

    Seems odd to beg for someone to do this, but c'mon losers! Pick me, pick me!!!!!!

  • Xacto11 posted at 7:36 am on Fri, Oct 5, 2012.

    Xacto11 Posts: 19

    We live a block or so away and were also hit on the same day. The same scenario, door kicked in, jewelry box pilfered, rings taken. All during mid afternoon, broad daylight. For what it's worth, several neighbors who were home at the time did get good looks at the suspects and vehicles. Apparently they knock loudly on the door and if they get no response, do their dirty work. If someone does answer, they pose as some sort of door-to-door salesman. Very bold, very despicable.

    Get to know your neighbors, people, watch out for each other, don't be afraid to dial 911.

  • Heartbroken daughter posted at 11:29 am on Thu, Oct 4, 2012.

    Heartbroken daughter Posts: 2

    This article is about my mom. The reason this story is here and not that of her neighbors is that we contacted the paper with the hopes that some of her neighbors may have seen something. Why didn't the neighbors hear the door being kicked in? Most of them are older than my mom. We tried contacting all of the gold buyers and pawn shops but there are just too many. This was our best hope to get her story out there and possibly get my dads ring back. When I heard they took mom and dads rings I was devastated! But when I heard that they desecrated my dads urn, I felt physically sick. We have not even made it to the one year anniversary of his death. My mom has been through enough!

  • CaiusCosades posted at 10:02 am on Thu, Oct 4, 2012.

    CaiusCosades Posts: 380


  • heatherfeather posted at 9:51 am on Thu, Oct 4, 2012.

    heatherfeather Posts: 297

    Few things are more contemptible than a thief. My family was burglarized when I was a kid and it was traumatic. So much so that when I saw video of a police cruiser striking a fleeing burglar I was pumping my fist screaming "H3ll yeah!"

    Dollars to donuts the burglar/burglars are druggies. Druggies contribute nothing but misery. Public caning for a first offense and then FromNIdaho has the right idea.

  • LONEWOLFMP posted at 9:50 am on Thu, Oct 4, 2012.

    LONEWOLFMP Posts: 46

    Heard about four or five houses on this street got hit...and they just went straight to the master bedrooms for jewelry only... where are the stories about the other people?

  • Iceage posted at 9:44 am on Thu, Oct 4, 2012.

    Iceage Posts: 43

    FromNIdaho your comment may reveal a clue. Are these scumbags looking up address from obituaries? They are perhaps looking for widows knowing that there is probably only a single person living at the address and they don't have a deal with the potential of man being there.

  • FromNIdaho posted at 8:16 am on Thu, Oct 4, 2012.

    FromNIdaho Posts: 48

    This is one time I am in agreement with countries like Iran. Find those guys and take their hands off at the wrist. My Uncle passed 4 months ago, and they just hit my Aunts house too. Took only jewelry. I hope someone has the good sense to turn these scumbags in.

  • Rationale posted at 7:01 am on Thu, Oct 4, 2012.

    Rationale Posts: 1976

    Kicked down a door and no neighbors heard? Must have all been at work.

    To the lowlifes who did this, I DARE you to try this at my house. The dogs will take care of you. And if they don't, my .44 Magnum will. Go ahead, make my day!

  • Just_K posted at 6:36 am on Thu, Oct 4, 2012.

    Just_K Posts: 84

    I agree. cc. I'm sorry for your losses, Betty, both of them. Your beloved husband and the precious memories he left with you. The scumbag(s) who did this are so disconnected from being human, they had no conscience about stealing someone else's memories. I do hope they catch the thugs and give them the same consideration they gave you, which is none. God bless.

  • concernedcitizen posted at 6:25 am on Thu, Oct 4, 2012.

    concernedcitizen Posts: 2530

    Find whoever stole her stuff and chop off their fingers. A can guarantee they will not do it again.

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