Widow, 82, pleads for return of rings stolen by accused burglar - FOX 35 News Orlando

Widow, 82, pleads for return of rings stolen by accused serial burglar

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BURNSVILLE, Minn. (KMSP) -

They were symbols of the love she shared with her husband for over half a century, but an 82-year-old Burnsville widow who lost $20,000 in jewelry to an accused serial burglar is hoping someone will return them.

They represent a lifetime of memories, but Nettie Broyles says her most precious possessions were the three rings her husband of over 50 years gave to her over the years.

In her life, Broyles has suffered plenty of losses -- from losing her husband to her son, but she said the theft is almost too much to take.

"It's not only the jewelry," she explained. "It's the security and the feeling that someone has been in here and invaded your privacy and taken away part of your life."

Prosecutors say Andrew Page broke into the office of the senior living co-op where Broyles lives last month and took a master key. Investigators claim he then used that key to get into Broyles' apartment and steal 16 pieces of jewelry.

"He opened this and took eight rings out of here," Broyles explained.

Her diamond engagement ring and a larger diamond her husband gave her for their 50th wedding anniversary were among those stolen.

"It's heartbreaking to think that human beings are that low and desperate," Broyles told FOX 9 News.

Police say Broyles wasn't Page's only victim either. Charging documents claim he also broke into the office of another senior living complex a few blocks away and made off with cash, rent checks and another set of master keys intended for firefighters to use in case of an emergency.

"To prey upon the elderly, to prey upon the defenseless, to prey upon people who have lived a long and good life and have to suffer like this in later years -- that's a sad thing," said Dakota county Attorney James Backstrom. "We take these types of crimes seriously."

Page is charged with two counts of second-degree burglary, but he's also being investigated for similar crimes in Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Apple Valley and Woodbury while he remains on home electronic monitoring due to health issues.

So far, however, investigators say he's offered no hint of where the stolen goods may be -- but Broyles says each missing piece now holds part of her broken heart.

"Each piece has a story," she said. "It hurts. It hurts bad, but I try not to be too mean about it."

Page will return to court in a few weeks.

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