Military widow's home burglarized in Hope Mills

A war widow is hoping the thief who stole her wedding rings is caught in time for Christmas.
December 18, 2013 4:33:08 AM PST
A war widow is hoping the thief who stole her wedding rings is caught in time for Christmas.

The Hope Mills woman says a thief ransacked her home taking many things, including wedding bands and several items that hold more sentimental value than anything else.  

The widow, Jessica McCloskey, who is also the mother of two, said she was told it could be a month before a detective is assigned to her case.  So she turned to ABC11 for help.  She's hoping that someone can help her get back not just her wedding rings but also what the thief stole from her children.

"Woman's engagement band, size 7, which is mine," said Jessica, who was looking at a Craigslist ad for her actual ring.

The ad was posted by the brazen person that McCloskey says stole her and her husband's wedding bands. They are rings that hold extra special meaning since her husband passed away.

"Shawn was killed in Afghanistan in September of 2009," said Jessica.

Shawn McCloskey was an Army Sergeant First Class with Special Forces at Fort Bragg. He was killed during Operation Enduring Freedom when enemy forces attacked his vehicle with an IED.

The 33-year-old left behind a wife, two small children, and several mementos that are now in the hands of a thief.

"My daughter made a box for him when he passed away," said Jessica.

In this box were items given to them at his memorial service like special pins.

"Each of the children had one and he took them," said Jessica.

He even stole jewelry from her daughter and a wallet from her son that belonged to his father.

"It was sitting on top of his dresser with his allowance in it," said Jessica.

Unknowingly, Jessica faced the man who robbed her of those things and her sense of security. She actually ran into him as he was leaving her apartment.

"He looked at me and said 'Hey ma'am how are you?' I said 'Good how are you.' And he was holding something that looked like my pajama pants," said Jessica.

Realizing they were her pants, Jessica gave chase but he got away. She also had to break the news to her children of what he got away with.  

"I felt very sad," said Jessica's daughter, Katie, who wrote a letter to Santa asking for help.

However, until that help arrives, the family sifts through what's left behind in a special box of memories. They know they may never see the most cherished pieces of their father and husband again.  

The thief also took her handgun which has a serial number.

Jessica says she replied to the Craigslist ad, and even had a few email exchanges with the seller, but Tuesday, for some reason, the post was taken down.  She hopes police will be able to track him down through that email exchange.

The burglary happened at 1:30 p.m. Friday.

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