Lakeland man spray-paints garage door with message for thief

Lakeland man spray-paints garage door with message for thief

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Jerry Ashley's message spray-painted on his garage door. Jerry Ashley's message spray-painted on his garage door.
LAKELAND, FL (WFLA) - A Lakeland man has spray-painted his garage door with a message for the thief who stole his late wife’s laptop filled with sentimental photos.

Jerry Ashley is still grieving over the passing of his wife Darlene, who died from an aneurysm last month at the age of 48.

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His loss has been compounded by thieves, who broke into his Lakeland home this week.

Ashley has a lot of fond memories of his wife, and many of those memories are stored in a computer that was stolen from his home, now he taking an unusual step to try and get that laptop back.

Ashley spray painted his garage door, hoping someone will heed the message and return his wife's computer, no questions asked.

Ashley said, "Everybody that walks by that street is going to see that; everyone who drives by there is going to notice it."

Jim Hardin and his wife were driving by and happened to see the message on Ashley’s garage door.

"I feel for him. I would hope that somebody would return it," said Hardin.

The thieves also took a television after breaking in thru a back window.

But it’s the computer Ashley wants back. It contains so many memories of his wife of 28 years, including pictures, messages and so much more.

"It doesn’t mean anything to anyone else, but it does to me," said Ashley.

As the message on the garage door states, Ashley is offering a $150.00 reward for the return of just the computer.

"Somebody had to see something, you don't walk out of here with 32 inch TV and laptop and not seen nothing. I just don't see how that is feasible."

Despite what happened, Ashley believes there are still good people in the world.

He hopes the person who stole the computer has a heart.

Ashley had this message for the thieves.

"You need to do the right thing; you need to bring it back home where it belongs, please."

Ashley reported the crime to police, but because he didn't have a serial number it may be hard to recover.

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