‘Something disgusting’: A necklace bearing pictures of her dead parents was stolen from a woman in Tyngsborough


The 77-year-old went out for a walk Tuesday afternoon around her apartment complex. Then, a vehicle stopped.

“A female passenger waved her toward the car,” Tyngsboro Police Chief Richard Howe said. “She didn’t think anything of it. She just approached the car.”

Howe said the woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, had no reason to suspect anything had happened.

“People ask for directions,” Howe said. “It’s a very close-knit community, so she wouldn’t have any reason to suspect anything else. So that’s definitely what surprised us.”

The surprise is what happened next.

“The woman in the passenger side reached out, grabbed the back of her neck, and pulled her into the car,” Howe said. With her other hand, the passenger tore a necklace with a pendant from the victim’s neck.

“Unfortunately, I was late in calling and speaking with a family member, and a call was not sent to police at that time,” Howe said. “So we found out about it later in the afternoon, and that’s when we started investigating.”

What this investigation has turned up so far is Ring doorbell surveillance video showing a black SUV at the complex. Police now identify it as a Jeep Compass.

The occupants of the car were between 30 and 40 years old, and the driver was a Hispanic man, Howe said.

The woman was not injured except for the loss of the necklace, Howe said. He said it was worth about $2,000, but its sentimental value was priceless.

The woman’s brother-in-law, who also wished to remain anonymous, explained that “her father died when she was eight years old.” “Then her mother died during the Khmer Rouge period, and this is the last memory of her life.”

That final piece of memory is the last photo of the woman’s parents, which she kept in her pendant necklace.

“Obviously that would be a disgusting thing to do to any human being,” Howe said.

But it seems much worse when the victim is 77 years old and the stolen item is a cherished memory.

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