Thief caught on tape stealing unique clown collectible

EDWARDSBURG, Mich. -- Someone came into a small Michiana business and snatched an expensive heirloom.

And right now, the owners are hoping that conscience -- instead of the cops -- will help them get their property back.

A rare, invaluable clown was yanked right off the shelf of a local shop, but the owner would rather the thief come clean than get cuffed.

So instead of going to police, she headed to Craigslist for help.

ABC57's Jaclyn Kelley went to Edwardsburg to find out more and learned that this shop owner is known for lending a hand.

At Discount Hut, you can buy, sell, or trade just about anything. The owner said one way she helps people hurting for money is by buying things she doesn't really need, just so someone can have the money to go buy food or gas -- things many of us take for granted.

Sherry Bertrand and her husband had a lot of extra odds and ends and nothing to do with them! So they decided to open up this store, Discount Hut, to let other folks buy, sell, or trade everything from tools and drills to antiques and collectibles.

“It's been keeping us busy, it's been pretty fun. A lot of people come in,” said Bertrand.

Recently this unique item came through her doors. After taking a closer look, Bertrand found out this glass clown is an expensive Italian art collectible.

“It was blown glass and he stood probably about 12-inches tall. I did some looking up on the internet and they range anywhere from $100 to $600,” said Bertrand.

Soon after putting it up for display, someone stole it while she was busy with another customer.

The class clown was sitting right here on this counter-top, but what the person who took the clown didn't know was that this camera had caught the whole thing on tape.

Even though there is surveillance video, Bertrand said she won't turn it over to police if they give the clown back.

“They know who they are and they haven't yet brought it back. If it does come back, then we will accept it no questions asked,” said Bertrand.

Bertrand said she would rather give the thief a chance. She said if it was money or help the person needed, he or she should have asked. Even after the theft, Bertrand is willing to forgive.

“People do desperate things in desperate times for their families, but we would be willing to help, we have done that before,” said Bertrand.

Bertrand said she has contacted all the local pawn shops and consignment stores in the area, letting them know to be on the lookout for the glass clown, and that it was stolen and belongs to her.

Only time will tell if that person will do the right thing.

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