|Published:||Jul 27, 2012 9:22 PM EDT|
|Updated:||Jul 27, 2012 11:17 PM EDT|
FORT MYERS, Fla. - It's an incredible story of lost and found. A Southwest Florida couple was burglarized five years ago, and one item they never expected to see again, is back home.
It was a day in April 2007 that was hard to forget. "The blinds were blowing, the sliders were broken, glass all over," Joe Guadagno said.
"The TV was missing, jewelry, my dead aunt's jewelry, every bit of jewelry my husband bought me," Jackie Guadagno said.
Thieves ransacked the Guadagno's Lehigh home, taking whatever they could, even pillow cases, and, "My most prized possession," Joe said.
It may look like just a stainless steel box. But inside, were hundreds of baseball cards Joe had collected since childhood, along with baptism and birth certificates with the original footprint.
"The sentimental things that can't be replaced," Jackie said, "those ripped my heart out."
They've since moved to Fort Myers, and figured all was lost. That is, until the phone rang Friday morning. "There was gentleman on the other end of the phone," Jackie said. "he told me his name was Ken Carter from Carter Fence Company."
An employee of Carter Fence Company in Naples found the box several years ago in the woods behind a Winn-Dixie in Immokalee. It sat on a shelf until owner Ken Carter took a closer look, finding Joe and Jackie's names.
"We looked her up last night, they're still local, and I had the gals in the office check it out today," Carter said.
"Then he said, it's a type of box and it has something in it, and I just started crying," Jackie recalled.
The Guadagnos drove down, and sure enough, it was all there, untouched.
"It was just the most amazing thing," Jackie said.
Carter said he's had equipment stolen from him in the past, so he knew he had to do the right thing. He just wishes he would have opened the box up sooner.
"Part of what was stolen in their life has now been returned," Carter said. "They were some nice baseball cards, but, they weren't mine."
The Guadagnos got back more than just baseball cards. A little faith and trust came back too.
"It was like an old friend coming home," Joe said.
"It's nice to know there are still people out there that will give it back instead of just take," Jackie said, "and Mr. Carter said today, we all have to look out for each other, and that's exactly right."