Stolen family heirlooms returned owners

Hillsborough County, Florida – The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office presented a local family with the heirlooms that were stolen during a robbery several weeks ago.

"I cried. Tears came to my eyes," said Steve Knight. "[They] were going to be passed down to my sons."

The gun, badge, and identification belonged to Knight's father from his days as a sheriff's deputy for Hillsborough County during the 1940's and 1950's.

Matthew Donovan and Steven Alcantara were charged with stealing the items and many more from nine different homes in the county.

At a press conference on Tuesday, the sheriff's office laid out stolen guns, jewelry, and electronics that were taken during the crime spree. But not all items were recovered by investigators, including a gun that belonged to John Butler. He said Donovan burglarized his Bell Shoals home on April 25 and shot at him using a gun that he stole from the bedroom of the house.

VIDEO: Hillsborough Sheriff press conference on recovered heirlooms

The bullet missed Butler, but the suspect got away with jewelry and his sense of security.

"Every time I come home I check the doors and the house before I come in. Every time the ice maker goes off at night … I jump out of bed," said Butler.

Sheriff David Gee said the men would kick-in doors of homes during the day and make off with valuables.

While the targets appear to be random, he offers some advice to reduce your chances of becoming a victim.

"We ask homeowners to lookout for each other ... that's your best weapon. Alarm systems are nice if you can have one," said Sheriff Gee.

Donovan and Alcantara are being held at the Hillsborough County jail.


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