KANSAS CITY, Mo. (CBS Local) — A 93-year-old woman who lost more than two dozen $100 savings bonds in a burglary four years ago finally has her money back, thanks to some dedicated police officers.
Jimmie Charlene Herbst had just moved into an assisted living home in 2016 when neighbors reported a burglary at her empty home.
Investigators recovered the savings bonds two years later but didn’t know who owned them.
The loot was handed over to PropertyRoom.com, an auction company that works to return property recovered in criminal cases to their proper owners after the case has concluded.
Police returned thousands of dollars in savings bonds that had been stolen from 93-year-old Charlene nearly four years ago. It took some work to find her, but we and the folks at @PropertyRoom didn't give up until we did. We surprised her with them today! https://t.co/iox4tk1BIC pic.twitter.com/XhYnt6DztD
— Kansas City Police (@kcpolice) February 27, 2020
PropertyRoom.com staff tried to track down one of the owners of the bonds, but he was dead.
A secondary name was on the bonds was that of Jimmie Charlene Herbst. But they also had trouble finding her, since she had outlived her husband and her son and no longer lived at her old home.
By searching through police records, officers Bill Keeney and Erik Winter, who had befriended Herbst in May 2016 when he found her alone in a home that was uninhabitable, located her at the Gardens at Barry Road Assisted Living and Memory Care.
Keeney then presented her with the money on Feb. 27, a reimbursement from her items lost in the burglary.
Charlene’s reaction made my day! @kcpolice returned thousands of dollars in savings bonds that were stolen from her years ago. It took some work to track her down and when they did they uncovered something special. See the story only on @kmbc at 5pm. pic.twitter.com/IEPE032gy5
— Bianca Beltrán (@KMBCBianca) February 27, 2020
The bonds, which had more than doubled in value, were now worth more than $5,700, according to the police statement.
“Well, my goodness’ sake. I’m rich,” she said as she happily accepted the bonds.
Herbst, who lives with dementia, said she did not remember the burglary, KMBC reported.
“I’m flabbergasted, as my grandmother would say. I don’t know what to say,” she said. “I’m going shopping.”