Iowa family reeling after burglar steals more than just a safe - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Iowa family reeling after burglar steals more than just a safe

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LIME SPRINGS, Iowa (KTTC) -- Russell Theis couldn't believe it when his girlfriend called him Monday morning to tell him his repair shop had been broken into the night before.  What the burglar stole has sent a shockwave through the community.

Theis owns Russ' Repair, a mobile auto shop with a base location in downtown Lime Springs.

On Monday morning, Theis walked in to his business to find a shattered desk, an empty cupboard, and a crime scene.

"The first thing that popped in my mind was, 'Is the safe there?'", said Theis. "And she paused for a second and almost started crying and said, 'no it's gone.'"

Theis' heart sank at those words, and his family is left to pick up the pieces after a burglar took something that can't be replaced Sunday night.

Donations for his 13-year-old daughter, Madison, who has been suffering from leukemia since last July.

"We were saving all that money to help with costs of transportation and treatment," Theis said.

Those funds were raised over the past year from a supportive community, including Madison's motorcycling friends who are helping in the investigation.

"You're up to your good neighbors and stuff like that and we have a great neighborhood and I think something will turn up," said Theis.

Additionally, there were some mysterious indicators that make this break in even more peculiar.

"I believe they tried to make it look like they didn't know where it was. They opened several desk drawers, that would have made it difficult to carry a safe out if you had done that first," said Theis. "So, I really think that somebody had inside information on this or had been in here before and discovered it and then came back for it."

Theis hopes these clues can lead to a suspect, a hope for Madison, and a possibility that she can be on her bike once again.

"She was great and maybe after the leukemia, we get this all taken care of, she'll be right back out there again."

Also inside that safe were two custom pistols, a passport and documents to vehicles. The footprint left from kicking in the steel door is a men's size 12. If anyone has information linked to this case, they are asked to contact the Howard County Sheriff's Office in Cresco.

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