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Car containing centuries-old American Indian heirlooms stolen in Denver

Car containing centuries-old American Indian heirlooms stolen in Denver
Posted at 5:31 PM, Jun 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-01 17:51:29-04

UPDATE | Friday, 3:45 p.m. — The Jacobs family has been reunited with their stolen family heirlooms. Aurora police found the car parked on the street late Thursday afternoon. All of their belongings were still inside.

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DENVER — Jan Jacobs' return to Denver from her Osage tribe's ceremonial dances in Oklahoma has been anything but uneventful.

Her navy blue Honda CR-V was stolen from the driveway of her home near East 17th Avenue and Pontiac Street sometime between Monday night and Tuesday morning.

"It was devastating to walk out this morning and realized that my car was gone," Jacobs said. "I wish they'd just taken the catalytic converter and driven off. But, you know, I guess be careful what you wish for."

Inside her SUV were centuries-old American Indian family heirlooms and regalia, items like an eagle wing fan and handmade suits that can never be replaced.

"They're not just something you can take off a shelf," Jacobs said. "They have real significance for us."

Jacobs and her son, Ben, owner of Tocabe, spent the morning searching the area, hoping to find the possessions that connect them with their ancestors and have been passed down for generations.

"She drove 12 hours — 75 years old — from being with her family to her home and just needed some rest. The last thing she expected was for someone to come and not only take her vehicle, but to really take a piece of who we are as a family," Ben said.

The family reported the theft to the Denver Police Department. They don't care to get the car back. They just want whoever stole it to return the family treasures.

"Look, if you have it, just take it somewhere where we can have it back, and you joyride that vehicle all you want. I don't care. Just give us who we are back," Ben said. "That's really all we want."

The family is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for the return of the items. They were contained within two vintage brown and blue hard-sided suitcases. If you spot them, contact Denver police or Tocabe.