KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jim Purcell said he’s the happiest he’s been in three years.
“That’s when our whole journey started,” said Purcell, who lost his wife Christy, 29, last year.
Christy was diagnosed with brain cancer two months after their son, Jameson, was born. On April 2, Purcell posted to Facebook about the theft of Christy’s wedding rings.
“It’s been a brutal journey. Every day was hard. When that ring was stolen, it was just another stab to the heart,” said Purcell.
Purcell said it was a devastating loss for him and his young son.
“This was the one legacy item I wanted to pass on to him,” said Purcell.
Purcell’s wallet was also stolen. The thieves used his credit card at a Walmart store, and there, they were caught on camera. Police shared the surveillance images, and enough tips were gathered to lead detectives to a jewelry store in Raymore, Mo.
“They were honestly shocked,” said Purcell.
Police said it’s best to carefully photograph and document your items as extra insurance. Things like that can help when trying to locate stolen items.
“The police never gave up,” explained Purcell, who said he was incredibly grateful people stepped forward with information. “A few of them actually put their own personal risk on the line.”
The group “Stolen KC” promotes people speaking up about theft daily.
“We’ve had people identified within five or 10 minutes,” explained Todd Howerton, who is on the Facebook group’s administration team.
Members post photos of missing items with the idea that someone knows something. The group would like to grow to a strength of 200,000.
“The massive amount of people can facilitate finding things,” said Howerton, who said they can take tips anonymously.
That way, the things that are irreplaceable can be found.
“To have that, it gave me a lot of faith, a lot of hope, and a lot of thankfulness to people in the community who stepped up,” said Purcell.
Detectives said they are looking for three suspects in connection with the theft. They are wanted for possession of stolen property, burglary and fraudulent use of credit.