EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSCOUPLE ARRESTED FOR THEFT
from Eyewitness News Online
Police: Couple Stole Army Widow's Wedding Rings
Reported by: Leslie Rubin
Web Producer: Leslie Rubin
Reported: Jan. 4, 2012 10:13 PM EST
Updated: Jan. 4, 2012 11:08 PM EST
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
Good news for a young military widow, as her and her late husband's stolen wedding rings are recovered.
Beth Tomczak and her late husband, Sgt. Zachary Tomczak's wedding rings were stolen just before Christmas. Two people have now been arrested, and one is her cousin.
"I'm sorry Beth. I love you," proclaimed Kevin Hancock as he was taken to magistrate court on Wednesday.
Love that was apparently overshadowed by greed. Hancock and his wife, Erika Hancock are both charged with daytime burglary for allegedly stealing a jewelry box from a home in Belle, but it wasn't just any jewelry inside that box.
"They still haven't found some of it and that's fine. I have my wedding rings back," said Tomczak, after learning of the arrest.
In 2007, her husband was killed by sniper fire during his fourth tour of duty in Iraq. A few weeks ago, someone broke into her mother's home in Belle and stole her and her husband's wedding rings, along with other jewelry. Now, finding out one of the suspects is a family member is tearing her apart. Kevin Hancock is her cousin.
"I hoped it was someone who didn't know my story. The fact that he knew that it was my deceased husband's wedding ring and my wedding ring just makes it that much worse," she says.
It was a case that the Kanawha County Sheriff's office took to heart, and after Kevin Hancock confessed to taking the jewelry to a pawn shop, they were able to save the rings before they scrapped.
"I was more than happy to say well we're about to make you a very happy lady because we have found your rings. And the first thing she said was, can you send me a picture of them," says Detective A.C. Pile.
A picture that Beth thought she'd never see again, but now she's relieved to see the suspects facing the consequences.
"It's so rewarding to be able to return her wedding rings to her. I can't imagine how happy she must feel to be able to get those back," says Pile.
The couple faces one to 10 years in prison.
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