(Hidden Valley, Ind.) - A burglary victim is offering reward for whoever stole not only her valuables, but her peace of mind, too.
“I’ve been through breast cancer. Last year my brother died in a motorcycle crash. Neither of those affected me the same way this has,” said Ashley Howe.
The Hidden Valley resident tells Eagle 99.3 her home on Skyview Circle was burglarized sometime between December 19th and 24th when she and her husband were out of town. She returned Christmas Eve without noticing anything amiss. On Christmas morning she went to find a piece of jewelry only to discover it was missing.
Howe would soon learn that all her jewelry, about 500 silver coins, and dinnerware had been taken. Also missing were some of the presents beneath the Christmas tree that Howe had planned on giving to her neighbor’s children. In all, Howe estimated the items value at roughly $30,000.
Police were called. They found that the thief, or possibly thieves, had likely made entry into the home by prying open a rear door, Howe said.
Howe believes the perpetrator may be somebody she knew. The home wasn’t ransacked. The boxes containing the coins had been placed back exactly where Howe last left them.
The experience has left the Howe with a feeling of being violated and has changed the way she lives.
“I used to leave our doors unlocked. Not anymore,” Howe said, adding she and her husband have invested in extra security for their home.
In hopes of finding the burglar, Howe and her husband are offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction. Anybody who has information should contact the Dearborn County Sheriff’s Department at (812) 537-3431. Callers can remain anonymous.
Howe hopes that others can learn from her story. She offers advice that can help prevent a burglary or in the aftermath of one.
Howe had posted on Facebook that she was out of town that week. The thief may have gained knowledge that the home would be unoccupied and unprotected. She cautions those who use social media to limit posting about going out of town or not being at home.
She also urged everybody to take photos of and create an itemized list of the valuables in their home. They can be handy tools when dealing with insurance companies to get the items replaced.