The Powell family was planning to honor the final wishes of Betty Weikert by spreading her ashes in Delaware, near her late husband's remains.
Her ashes were packed and ready to go, but Monday evening the family's plans abruptly changed. The duffel bag containing Betty Weikert's remains and two other pieces of luggage were taken in a car burglary in the parking lot of the Westfield Plaza Shopping Center, near Owensmouth Avenue and Erwin Street in Woodland Hills.
Whoever broke into the family's 2007 gray and blue GMC Yukon probably didn't know the priceless cargo was in the bag.
"My sister and I met my parents for dinner, since they were heading out of town," said Matt Powell, Betty Weikert's grandson. "We went out to the car after dinner and saw that it had been broken into and everything was gone."
Two pieces of luggage had been recovered by Tuesday afternoon. But the duffel bag was still missing by late in the day.
Powell says the ashes were in a brown box, which was in a white plastic bag, all inside the black duffel. If the burglars looked inside, they would have seen it was clearly marked. The other contents, and the bag, are of little interest at this point to the family.
"You would hope that someone would turn it in or at least leave it somewhere where it could be found easily," said Powell. "Everything else can be replaced But all we really want and need back is the ashes."
The family is asking anyone with information to call any of these numbers: Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477); 1-877-LAPD 247 (1-877-527-3247); or send a text message to 274637, which is "Crimes" on most keypads. All text messages should begin with the letters, L-A-P-D.