SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — A stolen urn containing the cremains of a North Carolina man whose family brought them to the Bay Area for a celebration of his life has been recovered, according to the San Francisco police.
Police spokesman Officer Robert Rueca said the urn and cremains had been returned to the man’s widow Mary Wilkinson.
“She (the officer) just said, ‘I just want to let you know we have your husband’s remains,’” Wilkinson told the paper. “And I just broke down and started crying.”
San Francisco police said investigators had quickly identified an adult male as a person of interest in the auto burglary.
On Saturday, at approximately 2:20 p.m., plain clothes officers working an auto burglary abatement operation spotted the person of interest and made contact with him at Chestnut and Montgomery Streets.
During the investigation, the man told the officers the location of the urn. He then contacted a friend who later met the officers and turned the urn over to them.
The suspect was detained and later released pending further investigation.
Meanwhile, Mary Wilkinson was relieved to once again have the urn and cremains.
Her late husband Joe loved San Francisco so she and her daughter came to the Bay Area to experience all his favorite things. But all that changed last Wednesday.
Vandals broke into their rental car inside Anchorage Square Parking Garage at Fisherman’s Wharf and stole the urn.
“(He) just enjoy the magic this city has,” Wilkinson said. “All that magic was ripped out from under me at 5:15 p.m. yesterday.”
Wilkinson told the paper that before their flight home to Charlotte on Tuesday, she and her daughter would enjoy their final hours in the Bay Area.
Julia Wilkinson told the paper that the burglary had also changed her family’s plans to spread her father’s ashes in the Bay Area.
“We’re taking him home,” Julia told the paper. “We are taking him home.”