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Calif. man reunited with images of late wife after stolen camera found

Categories: Community, Features, World

Dave Lacey was reunited with a camera stolen with images of his late wife. (KABC-TV)

Dave Lacey was certain a camera stolen from his home with hundreds of irreplaceable images of his late wife would never resurface. 

"I had written it off. It was gone and stolen forever," he told KABC-TV

More than a year after its theft, Lacey retrieved the camera, with a distinctive strap created by his wife, from a Santa Ana, Calif. pawn shop.

"I'm super excited," he said. 

His wife, Erica, diagnosed with cancer shortly before their wedding, died at the age of 30, according to KABC-TV.

"She was a super, super strong woman, super talented," Lacey said.

According to KABC-TV, the camera contained more than 300 of images of her funeral and celebration of life.

"Lots of sentimental value," Lacey said.

An unrelated home burglary and a stolen computer led to the reunion, KABC-TV reports.

A tracking application in the computer steered Santa Ana police to the 20-year-old suspect, who was arrested for possession of stolen property, a detective told the TV station.

Detectives uncovered receipts for more than 20 items pawned at a Santa Ana pawn shop at the suspect's home, including a receipt for Lacey's camera, KABC-TV reports.

Investigators went to the pawn shop and when examining the photos in the camera, one image looked familiar to a detective.

"I recognized a picture of a wall and a tree and that jogged a memory," Santa Ana Police Detective Jerry Verdugo told KABC-TV. 

Investigators went to the area where they believed the image was taken and later found Lacey.

"Having it back with the memories is fantastic," he said.

Have you ever lost digital images? Share your stories with us.

Tags: California, Camera, Community, Photography, Reunion, Santa Ana

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