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Couple seeks answers after safe containing $500K in valuables stolen from their home

<i>KPIX</i><br/>Surveillance photo of man suspected of stealing a safe from a Berkeley couple's home.
KPIX
KPIX
Surveillance photo of man suspected of stealing a safe from a Berkeley couple's home.

By Andrea Nakano

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    BERKELEY, California (KPIX) — An elderly Berkeley couple are seeking answers after they said a thief was able to steal a 300 pound safe from their home, containing an estimated $500,000 in jewelry and other valuables.

The victims told KPIX 5 that police responded right away but the couple quickly discovered the department just didn’t have the resources to fully investigate and help them get their family treasures back.

According to the couple, the burglar entered the home and knew exactly where to go. He went upstairs and dragged the safe on the hardwood floor, using a quilt off a bed to get it down the stairs.

The victims, who did not want to be identified, were stunned.

“It was oh my God, the entire safe had been stolen,” the male victim told KPIX 5.

The safe contained items that were passed on by family members and treasures they hoped to one day pass on to their grandchildren.

“There are valuable things inside a safe but more importantly, there are priceless memories,” the female victim said.

It even contained a $5 gold piece, owned by her great great grandfather, who was a key figure in the abolitionist movement. “I like to think he held the coin and maybe Abraham Lincoln did too,” she said.

The couple said their home was one of three broken into on the same day in the area, targeting elderly homeowners in their 70s and 80s. They are hoping someone might recognize the man seen in their surveillance video.

A $40,000 reward is being offered, no questions asked, for the return of the safe.

“This could be a good kid deep down inside and maybe it’s enough it can turn somebody’s life away from making money this way,” the couple said.

According to the victims, the case is being handled through their private investigator. Anyone with information is asked to call 415-961-0980.

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