Thieves steal family mementos

July 18, 2008 6:17:21 AM PDT
More heartache for a family in New Jersey. Less than a year after losing their son in an accident, personal mementos from his life have been stolen from them.

Edward Pena, Jr. was a Jersey City firefighter.

Burglars broke into his family's home Monday and took not only valuables, but also priceless keepsakes.

The break-in at his Gray Street home has left Eduardo Pena broken hearted.

He's not upset about the expense items that they took, like a brand new laptop, but for what they stole that once belonged to his son.

"His graduation ring, his fire department badge," he said.

Pena Jr. graduated from Hudson Catholic in 2000. He became a Marine. After that, a Jersey City firefighter. His passion was his motorcycle. While out riding last September 13, a car clipped him. Pena suffered severe injuries and died the next day, leaving behind a two-month-old daughter.

Last Monday, nearly 10 months to the day he died, thieves broke the door and entered his family's home.

"A very humble guy," Jersey City Fire Director Armando Roman remembered. "Undoubtedly, he was destined for public service. An individual who always gave of himself for others."

The Penas are hoping there is enough good in the heart of whoever took their sentimental treasures to give them back.

STORY BY: Eyewitness News reporter Toni Yates