KENT, Wash. – An inexpensive necklace containing priceless ashes was stolen from a car in Kent to the shock of the owner.
The ashes are those of Courtney Campbell, a 26-year-old barista who was killed in a propane accident in 2016, while working at her Everett stand. Pieces of jewelry were made after her death, including bracelets for her two young daughters and a necklace for her brother, Tyler Campbell.
“The necklace sat here on the gear shift,” said Campbell, pointing out where the $15 dollar urn should be in his car. “It was a silver necklace, big green heart stone on it.”
Campbell found his car unlocked on Monday morning, with several items missing. His tools were stolen, along with fishing gear and a pair of headphones.
“The glove box had gone through, stuff was scattered throughout the car,” he said. The necklace, he said to his surprise, was also taken.
“It just doesn’t seem like something you would grab,” he said.
The necklace, he said, was his way of remembering his sister Courtney. “It’s just something that I wanted to have her with me still,” he said.
Campbell said the night she died was the worst night of his life, finding her ashes stolen Monday morning brought the pain back. “It’s just an open hole still there,” said Campbell. “You think about her every day but it’s a lot more when something is missing.”
Kent Police told Q13 News that car prowls are happening across the city. Between May 2 and May 8, 29 cases of car prowls were reported to police, more than four prowls a day. They said although that may seem like a lot, the number was actually down from the week before.
They recommend these 10 tips from the Washington Auto Theft Prevention Authority:
- Take Your Keys.One out of every five vehicles stolen had the keys in it.
- Lock Your Car. Almost half of all vehicles stolen were left unlocked.
- Don’t Hide a Second Set of Keys in Your Car. Extra keys can easily be found if a thief takes time to look.
- Park in Well-Lighted Areas.
- Park in Attended Lots. Auto thieves do not like witnesses and prefer unattended parking lots.
- Only give ignition/door key to parking attendant. If your trunk and glove box use the same key as the door, have one of them changed.
- Don’t leave your car running unattended. Vehicles are commonly stolen at convenience stores, gas stations, ATM’s, etc. Many vehicles are also stolen on cold mornings when the owner leaves the vehicle running to warm up.
- Completely Close Car Windows When Parking. Don’t make it any easier for the thief to enter your vehicle.
- Don’t Leave Valuables in Plain View. Don’t make your car a more desirable target and attract thieves by leaving valuables in plain sight.
- Park With Your Wheels Turned Towards the Curb. Make your car tough to tow away. Wheels should also be turned to the side in driveways and parking lots.
Campbell said he’s hoping someone will return the necklace, or turn it into police.
“I just want it back. I don’t care about the rest of my stuff, that’s replaceable; the necklace is not.”