Family heirloom stolen twice

HOUSTON In the early morning hours of June 21 the Ard family became victims of burglary in their Highlands neighborhood. In their case they believe the thieves got in through the garage and opened the door of their SUV.

"My credit cards, checkbook, my iPod and camera were also in my wallet, I mean my purse," recalled Dana Ard. "That's when I began to panic."

That's because Ard remembered she had taken her jewelry off for an appointment and placed it in her purse, including her mother's wedding ring.

She said, "It was a very dear ring to me because it was a piece of my mom that I carried with me every day. My dad had it made for her."

Ard wasn't alone. Neighbors captured activity on camera up and down their street. They reported the list of stolen items totaling several thousand dollars to the sheriff's office.

"I just thought it was gone forever," Ard said.

In the following days, sheriff's deputies found a suspicious car in a neighborhood and towed it to a storage lot. Inside they say they found some of the stolen items from the neighborhood, including what was taken from Ard's SUV and her most prized piece of jewelry.

Harris County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Christina Garza said, "My information is, yes, that ring was there initially."

The log sheet for the transfer indicates it was there too. But some time after the car was towed to the private storage lot, the ring was stolen again!

Ard said, "We were told the car was secured with tape over the windows and doors."

Sheriff's deputies say they are now investigating the second theft of the ring.

"It's a very unfortunate situation," Garza said. "Ideally we would have liked for that suspect vehicle to have been taken to our secure lot up in Humble where we would have been able to secure that property and process it and hopefully return it to its rightful owners."

The Ard family received some of their belongings back, but for Dana the only thing that ever mattered is now gone again.

"It's sentimental to me," she said. "It can't be replaced, there's not another one like it. I want my ring back."

Sheriff's deputies say they do have a suspect in the initial burglaries in the Highlands area. Te may be linked to as many as 10 car burglaries in the neighborhood. But there are no suspsects so far in the second theft of Dana's ring.

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