Madalyn Hartberger says her family’s generations-old toolbox was stolen off her porch early Sunday morning. She says it’s not the monetary value that breaks her heart – even though it was worth thousands of dollars – but the memories of her childhood and late father she may never see again.
“And that’s- I mean, his whole legacy was in his tools. That’s what he spent his money on, that was our childhood,” she said.
Her dad, Alvin, worked his whole life as a mechanic, just as his dad had done.
She says she and her dad had a special connection, and that she remembers helping him at his shop when she was just a toddler.
“He had a sense of humor just like- gosh. He could make me laugh, like oh my gosh he was crazy,” she said.
He died suddenly of a heart attack on the job in March 2014, a day after he had changed the oil on Madalyn’s car.
She was just 18, and didn’t have much more to remember him by than his beloved toolbox, which she and her brother had kept on the front porch for over a year.
She says she saw it at 2 a.m. on Sunday, but by 9 a-m, it was gone.
She says the guilt is unimaginable.
“People make mistakes. It was a fluke. I wish I had a better answer for that, but it was just- we didn’t think about it,” she said.
She says the toolchest was such a fixture of the household that she doesn’t even have a picture of it to share, but that it resembles this image [see video].
It also has a few tools engraved with the letters “AH” and “CLH” inside, after her father and grandfather.
“You just don’t know what people’s stories are, and it didn’t look like a lot but it definitely had value regardless of what was inside it. It just had history, our family history with it,” she said.
Madalyn says she filed a police report Sunday and will be sure to check pawn shops for it Monday.
She says she doesn’t expect to see the toolbox or its contents again, but hopes for the best.