Two pieces of furniture cherished by a family in Gonzales have gone missing. Security cameras caught the crook on camera, and now detectives are hoping the video is enough to help catch him.
Sharon Ridenour's new house in Gonzales is decorated and ready for guests this Mardi Gras, but something dear to her family is missing from her front porch. "We were power washing the house and I asked my husband if he moved them and he was like, 'No.' So I'm like, 'Well they are not here so, hmm,'" Ridenour said.
The Ridenours checked their home surveillance video. What they saw sent chills down Sharon's spine.
"It was creepy. Creepy," Ridenour said.
The camera footage shows on Sunday, January 15, just after 11 p.m., a man in a sweat suit and gloves walked over the bushes onto the front porch, and walked away with a rocking chair.
"It's just very unsettling. It's like 30 feet from my bed," Ridenour said.
Fifteen minutes later, the camera caught the man coming up the walkway and taking a second chair. Ridenour can hardly bear to watch. "You stole a piece of my heart, not just furniture. I don't care about the furniture. I really don't," Ridenour said.
The cypress rocking chairs were actually memorials for her father-in-law, who passed away in June, and for her brother, who died in August. The pain is still very fresh for her family, including her older sister, Michelle Schroll, who helped design the chairs.
"Part of my brother is gone," Schroll said.
The sisters said they can't put a price on the missing rockers. The sentimental value is just too great. They can't understand what anyone would want with them.
"I wish you would have had the decency when you noticed that they were engraved with my brother's date of birth and death date and her father-in-law's
date of birth and death date that you would have had the decent morality to at least d rop them off in the middle of the night in the front yard," Schroll said.
The Ridenours have upgraded their home security system to include a motion censored door chime. When someone walks up, they get an alert on their cell phones. They hope what their cameras captured last Sunday will be enough to help them find their missing memorials. The family is offering a $1,000 reward for any information that leads to an arrest.
Call Crime Stoppers at 225-344-7867, if you recognize the man in the surveillance video.