Valley woman writes open letter to thieves, hopes to have jewelry returned

- A Valley woman made an emotional plea to the suspects who broke into her house. The thief got away with many items, some of them are irreplaceable. She's hoping some of them will be returned, including Native American jewelry that belonged to her late mother.

It's a long, passionate post to the suspects who violated Tracey Tipton's home last Thursday and stole something they can never replace. Tracey's mother, who died three years ago, collected and cherished her Native American jewelry and it was the family's strongest connection to her.

>>Click here to read Tracey Tipton's Facebook post

"That to us was her and when she passed, that's all we had of her," she said.

On January 18th, burglars stole watches, computers, wedding rings, and other valuables from Tipton's home in Mesa, but it was the loss of her mother's jewelry that hurts the family the most. There were about 15 pieces -- mostly Zuni.

"They were all laid out on my dresser and they took them all. Every last one of them," she said.

In a Facebook post, Tipton poured her heart out, talking about her mom, Patty Hancock, also known as "Bama" to her grandchildren.

A petite woman who had a passion for Native American culture and history. Over the years, she scrimped and saved to buy the authentic jewelry. Another of her passions: hummingbirds.

"She's got two little hummingbirds on her gravestone and one of the rings they took was a hummingbird ring. She wore that all the time," said Tipton.

The ring is gone and Tipton says she knows this is a long shot, but she is hoping someone might recognize a piece or maybe the thieves would find some compassion and return the jewelry. 

What would her mom say to make her feel better about the situation?

"She would probably say, don't worry about it, that she's still here and she it's true she'll leave us," replied Tipton.

Tipton says writing the letter was cathartic and it helped heal her heart just to put it all out there. She knows it is the longest of shots that she'll get her beloved mother's jewelry back, but said she just had to try everything so she could say to herself that she'd done everything to heal her family's heartache.

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