Jefferson Police return $20,000 in stolen antiques

Image 1 of 12

Investigators reunited a collector with thousands of dollars of stolen antiques Tuesday morning.

Clifford Holderbaum and his wife drove more than 700 miles from their home near South Bend, Indiana to the Jefferson Police Department to reclaim their items.

“I was just glad to get them recovered,” said Holderbaum. “I didn't care how far it was. I was glad.”

According to the St. Joseph County Police Department, Holderbaum reported the items stolen in early April. He was one of several people thieves hit in the area. 

Around Memorial Day, a private investigator contacted Jefferson Police after seeing an online listing for some of Holderbaum's antiques at a nearby auction house.

“We went out the auctioneer and proceeding to take the property, put it in safe keeping here until Mr. Holderbaum could come get his property back,” said Jefferson Police Chief Joseph Wirthman.

The auctioneer, said Wirthman, had no idea the items had been stolen and turned them over willingly. The Holderbaums were thrilled to get some of their treasures back. Police estimate they were worth more than $20,000.

“You could tell his wife was teary-eyed, but happy that she got some of these--these were family heirlooms and other stuff,” explained Chief Wirthman. "It makes us feel good when we're able to make a good case."

St. Joseph County Police charged Shelley Wilson with theft in connection with the case, but they still have two other suspects.