Some heirlooms recovered from obituary burglaries

MARYSVILLE — They know they’re not likely to get back most of what they lost, but a Marysville couple are celebrating what detectives have been able to recover from a March burglary committed while they attended a loved one’s funeral.

On Thursday, the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office returned to Danutsia Burgy a family heirloom: a set of gold flatware from Germany. She also was reunited with some pearls. Her husband, John Burgy, was given back a firearm stolen in the March 23 burglary.

The loot recently was recovered as a part of the investigation into a crime ring police believe found their targets by scouring newspaper obituaries to identify empty homes.

The recovered items are a fraction of what the Burgys lost, but still meant a lot.

“These things are worth much more than just money,” John Burgy said. “They are deeply ingrained in memories. It’s so visceral.”

Each item has a memory that connects to the past, Burgy said.

The couple’s losses filled a 13-page report submitted to the Marysville Police Department. The list includes more than 100 pieces of jewelry and a dozen firearms. It totals more than $400,000 in losses.

Marysville police and sheriff’s deputies have been investigating at least eight burglaries that occurred while the victims were attending the funerals of family members.

Several weeks ago, sheriff’s detective Margaret Ludwig was able to return rings to another woman whose home was targeted. The rings had belonged to her mother and were stolen while she attended her mother’s funeral.

“As soon as she saw them, she just started crying,” Ludwig said.

The return of stolen items to the Burgys also was heartwarming, she said.

Danutsia Burgy brought her father to the north precinct. George Gordon, 86, from Poland, was held by the Nazis at the Buchenwald concentration camp during World War II. Tens of thousands of people died or were executed at the camp on German soil.

“It was an honor to meet her dad,” Ludwig said. “To me, he’s a celebrity, to have survived all that.”

Danutsia Burgy hopes that someday detectives will recover the strip of cloth with a prisoner number from the uniform her father wore at Buchenwald.

Four people have been arrested for investigation of burglary or crimes related to the obituary break-ins.

Tyler Chase, 31, has been charged with burglary. A second man, Corey Arendt, 21, has been identified by police as a suspect, but no charges have been filed in the case. A Lake Stevens man, 23, is under investigation for conspiracy to commit burglary and a Granite Falls man, 58, is suspected of possessing stolen property.

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446, stevick@heraldnet.com

More in Local News

Fatal car crash reported on Highway 92 near Lake Stevens

The 3 p.m. accident and investigation stopped traffic in both directions near Machias Road.

Mayor Ray Stephanson’s official portrait, by local illustrator Elizabeth Person, is displayed at a farewell reception held in the Ed Hansen Conference Center at Xfinity on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017 in Everett, Wa. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Past and future on the drawing board

Everett artist puts paint to paper for outgoing Mayor Ray Stephanson’s official portrait.

Mayor tries new tactic to curb fire department overtime

Stephanson says an engine won’t go into service when the only available staff would be on overtime.

Cheering families welcome Kidd, Shoup after 6 months at sea

“I get back Daddy back today,” said one homemade sign at Naval Station Everett.

Paine Field fire chief will be allowed to retire

In his letter, the airport director noted Jeff Bohnet was leaving while under investigation.

Stanwood man, 33, killed in crash near Marysville

Speed may have been a factor, the sheriff’s department said.

County plans to sue to recoup costs from ballot drop-box law

A quarter-million dollars could be spent adding 19 ballot boxes in rural areas.

“Women Make Us Better,” a video on the Boeing Co. website features 15 female engineers. (All images Courtesy The Boeing Company)
For modern women, 98-year-old rejection letters still sting

In a stark new video, female Boeing engineers break the silence of an embarrassing past.

February trial set for suspect in deadly Marysville shooting

There had been questions about Wayne Alpert’s mental health.

Most Read