Stolen wedding rings returned to Kansas City man

Posted at 6:36 PM, Apr 24, 2018

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It's the happiest a Kansas City widower said he has been in three years.

"That's when our whole journey started," said Jim Purcell, who lost his 29-year-old wife Christy last year.

Christy was diagnosed with brain cancer two months after their son, Jameson, was born.

Scripps station KSHB in Kansas City reported earlier in April that Purcell's wedding rings had been stolen.

"It’s been a brutal journey. Every day was hard. When that ring was stolen, it was just another stab to the heart," said Purcell.

Purcell shared the story on social media, explaining it was a devastating loss for him and his son.

"This was the one legacy item I wanted to pass on to him," said Purcell.

Purcell's wallet was also stolen. The thieves used his credit card at the Walmart at 133rd and State Line; its surveillance video captured the alleged thieves’ faces.

KCPD shared those images and together enough tips were gathered that detectives found the rings at a jewelry store in Raymore.

"They were honestly shocked," said Purcell.

KCPD property crimes said it’s best to carefully photograph and document your items as extra insurance. Things like that can help them when trying to locate items.  

"The police never gave up," explained Purcell, who said he was incredibly grateful people stepped forward with information. "A few of them actually put their own personal risk on the line."

The group Stolen KC promotes people speaking up about theft daily.

"We’ve had people identified within five or 10 minutes," explained Todd Howerton, who is on the Facebook group's administration team.

Members post photos of missing items with the idea that someone knows something. 

The group would like to grow to a strength of 200,000.  

"The massive amount of people can facilitate finding things," said Howerton, who said they can take tips anonymously.

That way, the things that are irreplaceable can be found.

"To have that, it gave me a lot of faith, a lot of hope, and a lot of thankfulness to people in the community who stepped up," said Purcell.

Detectives told KSHB they are looking for three suspects in connection with the theft. They are wanted for possession of stolen property, burglary, and fraudulent use of credit.