Thief grabs wedding ring, gift money from Navy family

Posted at 9:26 AM, Nov 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-23 12:26:16-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A Navy family in Serra Mesa is missing some much-needed cash and a wedding ring after a wallet was stolen.

Tianna Burtnett's father recently gifted her $1,500 in cash to help buy her son Nicklaus some special needs toys for Christmas. Nicklaus was diagnosed with Angelman syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects the nervous system.

Burtnett placed the cash in her wallet inside her purse Sunday, with plans to buy the gifts long before her Navy husband returned home from his deployment in December.

"Getting excited. My son is going to open his presents in front of his dad after he was gone for a whole year," said Burtnett.

On Tuesday, she was at home and tried to pay for a dinner order. She unzipped the pocket in her purse and realized the wallet was gone.

"I panicked. It was heartbreaking. That means I can't buy any of those toys," said Burtnett.

She hadn't been out with her purse much but did accidentally leave the back door of her home unlocked for a day. The cash was not the only thing stolen. Burtnett had placed her rose gold-and-diamond wedding ring inside the wallet because of a swollen finger.

"My husband spent several years paying off the ring. We've built a great life together and someone comes along and takes away the one thing that I can't replace," said Burtnett.

Burnett posted photos of the missing items online and quickly got a tip. A neighbor reported a man walking around trying to sell the wallet and ring.

Neighbors describe the man as a man in his 20s, with long, curly blond hair. He carries a skateboard or long board and may be homeless.

If you have any information, you're asked to call Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.