Chester man offers reward for stolen heirloom
CHESTER — A Chester man is offering a $1,000 reward for the return of a gold chain with a crucifix that once belonged to his late grandfather and was stolen in a burglary last week.
The chain was one of several items taken in a break-in at a house on Shepard Home Road.
The burglary was discovered by the homeowner over the weekend, but police believe it happened around the same time as another burglary last Tuesday on nearby Great Oak Drive during which a legally blind man was attacked.
Richard, the owner of the residence on Shepard Home Road who didn’t want his last name printed, spent Monday hanging reward posters around town in hopes of finding the chain that he said was a family heirloom.
“This is really important to me. I was very sick in the hospital and I’ve been through a lot and this chain helped me through. It has sentimental value,” he said.
The chain first belonged to Richard’s grandfather, Ray Akins of Derry.
Akins, who died more than 20 years ago, was a heavy equipment expert who used to build roads to access gold mines, Richard said. The gold used for this chain came from a mine in South America where Akins had worked.
“This crucifix has been given down through the family ever since. I feel like I’ve let the family down,” he said.
Richard said he discovered the house was broken into while he was away for a few days.
The chain was among other jewelry and a knife that were stolen.
Richard has asked anyone with information that could lead to the return of the gold chain to call him at 489-8059.
Burglars also swiped jewelry and money from a residence on Great Oak Drive where a 22-year-old legally blind man was home alone and attacked by the intruders.
The victim, who wants to be identified only by his first name, Joe, said Monday that doctors advised him to take it easy after suffering a concussion in the assault.
The bruising around his left eye caused by a punch to the face is fading as are the marks on his back left behind when one of the burglars struck him with an object.
The burglaries have prompted a warning from Police Chief William Burke, who urged residents to take steps to secure their homes, starting with locking their doors.
“It’s amazing how many people don’t lock their doors. It’s sad that you can’t trust people anymore,” he said.
Any valuables should also be kept in a safe or hidden, he said.
“These people going into houses go directly to where they think these (valuables) will be,” Burke said.
Burke said the burglars that hit Shepard Home Road came in through a window, but in the case of the Great Oak Drive burglary, Joe said the burglars broke in through a basement door with a dead bolt.
Anyone with information on the burglaries is asked to call the Chester Police Department at 887-2080.