The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

April 12, 2013

Thief grabs memories

94-year-old vet returns from Fla. to discover mementoes stolen

JEFFERSON —  Richard Reuschling suspects a female had a hand in the theft of jewelry and electronics from his home.

A male thief, he said, would not take the time to leave things so carefully arranged in the drawers that, at first, it appeared as if nothing was missing.

Indeed, Reuschling, 94, walked by the spot where the television was when he left for Florida last fall and didn’t notice it was missing.

However, for the past week Reuschling has made a trip to the village’s police department almost daily to report pilfered items: his jewelry, the television and a DVD player.

“Gradually, we keep coming up with things that are missing,” Reuschling said. “They even took a $100 bill that they gave me when I retired. It had a lot of names on it of people I worked with.”

Reuschling estimates the total loss at around $2,000, excepting two items that were priceless to the World War II veteran: a ring made from his paratrooper wings and a silver cigarette box.

The box was given to Reuschling by a Royal Air Force pilot before flying a mission. The box had the letters “RAF” engraved on the top and was prized by Reuschling.

His wife had sent his paratrooper lapel pin to a company and had it made into the ring. Like the box, it simply can’t be replaced.

“It would be nice if they would drop off that stuff at the house. I’d be very happy. The rest of it does not matter. But I’d like get those things back, I’d be very happy. There are a lot of memories there,” Reuschling said.

A brother periodically checked on Reuschling’s house in his absence from November to April, but the thieves were so neat in their work it went unnoticed. Even the entry method was very low impact.

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