POWAY, Calif. - A theft at a Poway church is very personal for one woman, who says what thieves took is truly irreplaceable.
Anna Wallace showed 10News the scene of the crime behind the Community Church in Poway. Late last week, someone stole the sundial dedicated to her late husband in 2004.
"When I first heard it, I was really angry and then it's becoming more just … it's just sad," said Wallace.
Not only were her husband's ashes resting inside the base of the sundial, so was a stuffed animal. It was her daughter Claudine's first Christmas gift in 1953. A year later, at just 20 months old Claudine was killed in car accident with her mother, Wallace, at the wheel.
Now, nearly 60 years later, the irreplaceable mementos are gone but the haunting memories have come flooding back, due to the thieves.
"I hope they are haunted for doing this," said Wallace.
The brass sundial will be now be replaced with a plaque – made of stone or tile – and planted in the ground.
"This was a place I could go and it was like visiting a grave," said Wallace. "I mean, to me, it's like they were robbing a grave."
The 125-year-old church's newest pastor was told by sheriff's investigators that the metal stolen is worth no more than $40 on the black market.
"If this money was needed, they would have been much better to come to the door and ask me for it. Our church would have helped them ... rather than steal something from us, so maybe that can be a teaching moment to others in need as well," said the Rev. Glen Larsen, who is with the Community Church of Poway.
Wallace only wishes security cameras had captured the theft, which has left her feeling empty.
"I just couldn't believe someone would do that," she said.
Since there were no surveillance cameras, sheriff's deputies have very little to go on at this point.