Arizona man’s ashes stolen in rash of smash-and-grab thefts on Indianapolis northeast side

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - A widow from Arizona is begging for help in tracking down her husband’s ashes. They were stolen Thursday night from a rental car in a smash-and-grab on the city’s northeast side.

The family flew in Thursday from Phoenix and was headed to meet up with family in Fort Wayne to release the ashes this weekend at Webster Lake.

They stopped at the Steak 'n Shake restaurant at 96th Street and Interstate 69 Thursday around 7 p.m. for a bite to eat, and that’s when the ashes were stolen.

“I can’t believe I didn’t take Don’s ashes in with me,” said Kim Lansdowne.

 Lansdowne is sick over the theft at the restaurant parking lot.

“When we got back outside, the window was broken. The back window was broken, and so they had taken all the bags. And one of the bags had Don’s ashes in it,” she said.

The ashes and the death certificate were inside a glass container in a computer bag. Lansdowne said the suspects took that bag along with other valuables and pearls. The pearls were her husband’s last gift to her before he died of cancer in July.

“This is just such a hard, hard thing for me to think about,” she said.

IMPD reports show two other smash-and-grab thefts from vehicles along 96th Street on Thursday night. One burglary happened at a nearby restaurant, and the other happened outside a movie theater, directly behind the Steak 'n Shake where the ashes were stolen. In both of those cases, the crook broke the windows and took electronic tablets, along with other items.

Victims reported two similar thefts in the area, one along 82nd Street and another along Allisonville Road.

Fishers Police also had a report of a theft from a vehicle in the area Thursday, but authorities said nothing large of value was taken.

“The worst thing that I could possibly have in my brain this moment is that his ashes are in a dumpster. They’re in a dumpster. Somebody threw them away,” said Lansdowne.

Lansdowne said her husband wanted his ashes spread at Webster Lake with his family. That was planned for Sunday. Now she’s mourning her husband’s death all over again, his remains gone at the hands of a thief.

“I just want them back,” she said.

Family members ask anyone with knowledge of where the ashes may be located to contact police.

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