CLEVELAND (WJW) — Shattered glass from the window of her navy blue 2020 Kia Sportage was all that was left behind.
“I kept going up and down the street and like, this can’t be taking place or there has to be, maybe I parked somewhere up further or back further,” Maria Dunn of Solon said of realizing her car was stolen.
It happened outside the Southeast Seventh-Day Adventist Church on Tarkington Avenue in Cleveland last Friday evening, as Dunn was attending a Christmas concert.
“I entered after parking my car on Tarkington, alongside the church there. Services started at 7, I left the church around 8:45.”
Dunn says her life was turned upside down this past July, when her beloved uncle Dan Alderman, suddenly died of a heart attack at the age of 64.
In addition to Christmas presents and $500 cash now gone, this silver and white urn, containing Dunn’s uncle’s ashes, were also inside the stolen vehicle.
“He would always joke with me, like if ever anything happened to him to take him on vacation with me, take him on adventures with me. So I decided when I got a sample urn at the funeral home that I would do exactly what he wanted.”
Church surveillance cameras were unable to provide any footage of the theft.
Dunn filed a police report at Cleveland’s 4th police precinct. And residents in the area told FOX 8 there has been a rise of car thefts in recent weeks.
Weater Dixon said, “Stealing cars and committing all these crimes out here, it don’t make no sense it makes no sense. It’s so unsafe and these older people are scared for their lives.”
Marias’s daughter Courtney Dunn said, “It’s the Christmas season and as people, we’re supposed to be spreading joy and goodness to each other.”
Meantime, the Dunn family says experiencing their uncle being taken away from them, for a second time, is unbearable.
They say he was a die-hard Browns fan, and would do anything for his family, especially during the holidays.
Her message to the thieves: “… go ahead an let uncle come back home here and that’s all I really care about right now, the return of the urn.”
A Cleveland police spokesperson says car thefts are up 25% this year.
Courtney Dunn has set up a GoFundMe account to help her mother replace the Christmas gifts she already purchased, but the ultimate goal is to have her uncles ashes returned home.