It’s always devastating to find out your home has been burglarized. But when thieves make off with the usual expensive items—laptops, wallets, phones, etc.—at least those can be repurchased.
It’s much more heartbreaking when thieves take something of personal value—something that’s irreplaceable.
That was the case for Eric Deas, from Chula Vista, California, who on November 14 discovered that his home had been ransacked. But not only that, these thieves seemed particularly spiteful and vicious.
Instead of just grabbing a few big-ticket items to pawn off later, the burglars sadistically destroyed Deas’ property, including killing his 25 fish by pouring a bottle of tequila into the tank.
“I really don’t understand these kids today,” Deas told KGTV.
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, the criminals’ havoc totaled $12,000, between property damage and stolen property. But Deas was heartbroken to discover one item in particular missing—something he couldn’t put a price on.
A birthday card, written by his deceased mother.
The simple greeting card was one of the last things his mother wrote before she died, and one of the few items he had left to connect to her. And now, it was gone, taken by thieves who had absolutely no use for it.
“This little card is the only damn thing that matters to me,” Deas told KGTV. Deas was worried the card was gone for good.
But Chula Vista Police stayed on the case—and miraculously, they soon got a major lead. There was another break-in, and the police chased after the crew. While they got away, one of the crew posted about the chase on social media, and soon the police made the arrests of two suspects: an 18- and 17-year-old.
Bizarrely, they found a shotgun and a live rabbit in their vehicle.
The two suspected burglars are in custody awaiting sentencing, and the police search for the remaining crew members. Deas was glad to hear that justice was being served.
“Knowing the fact they did apprehend two people so far is great,” he told FOX 5 San Diego. “So we got two down, two to go. I’m very confident that they will be caught.”
“Hopefully, they will learn a lesson and won’t do this to anybody else.”
But that wasn’t the only good news they had for him:
The police were able to find Deas’ stolen possessions.
There were plenty of expensive items recovered from the burglars, but Deas only cared that one thing in particular made it home:
The birthday card.
“This is probably the most cherished thing I have in the whole world right now,” Deas said. “We have thousands of dollars’ worth of jewelry and watches and computers, and this little card is the only thing that matters to me.”
With tears in his eyes, he read the simple message from his late mother that meant the world to him:
“I know it’s early but I didn’t want to be late, haha. Love, your mom.”
“I got the most precious items back,” he told the Union-Tribune.
Deas was incredibly grateful to the police department for returning the card to him in an unlikely happy ending.
“They care. They genuinely care,” he told KGTV. “We got some damn good cops out there.”
He’s now keeping the card in a safe, undisclosed location—and he’s got some strong words for the crew who vandalized his home.
“They should have never robbed my house,” he told FOX 5. “Out of all the houses, you guys picked the wrong house and you’re going to pay for it.”