23 ABC viewer helps senior buy back her stolen jewelry

82-year-old woman gets help from viewer


Marjorie Ann Mahan, 82, is getting more of her stolen items back after thieves broke into her home, stealing thousands of dollars worth of jewelry.


ABC 23 reported that police found her items at a pawn shop in East Bakersfield.  Mahan is shocked after learning she has to pay just to get her items back, but officers say it’s a common practice.


“The business that purchases the stolen property can't make a profit on it.  What they can do is they can seek reimbursement from the owner of the property for whatever they paid,” said public information officer, Ray Pruitt of the Kern County Sheriff’s Office.


Mahan was given two options.  She could either pay $655 or pay half to only get a few of her stolen items back.  She decided on paying half because most of the jewelry has been damaged.  The problem is she didn’t have the money and considered everything gone.


"Most of the businesses don't want to be in the business of reselling stolen property, but these businesses that buy the stolen property are victims also because even though they are following the law,” said Pruitt.


After seeing Mahan’s story on television, Steve, an ABC 23 viewer who didn’t want to give his last name says he wants to help.


“The reason I'm doing this is because it's for consideration of others and the respect for our senior citizens in our community," he said.


Mahan says the suspects walked away with her laptop filled with old family photos.  They also took many blank checks and credit cards, some of which have already been used.


Steve has never met Mahan, but after hearing her story arranged to meet the 82 year-old woman and together they walked into the pawn shop.  Steve paid for her jewelry with no questions asked.


“There are still a lot of good people in this world.  By something like this perhaps others will take my lead and help other strangers out,” said Steve.


Steve did not want the attention.  In fact, he really didn’t want to be on television or be interviewed.  He just wanted to help.  Mahan is grateful he did.


“Thank you.  If any other seniors are having their home broken into or have things taken, don’t give up hope,” said Mahan.


Mahan is planning to let her granddaughter use the very same jewelry that was stolen for her wedding next month. It’s something she had planned to do before the theft.


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