Stolen camera found, with touching photos of man's late wife

David Lacey with his camera that was recovered by Santa Ana, Calif. police, more than a yeasr after it was stolen from his home
CBS Los Angeles
SANTA ANA, Calif. - David Lacey thought he'd never see his camera - or the prized pictures in it - ever again.

He was wrong.

Lacey has recovered the camera that was stolen from him, and which contained pictures of his late wife, thanks to some eagle-eye detective work by the Santa Ana Police Department, reports CBS Los Angeles.

The camera, filled with photos from the funeral of his wife, who died from lymphoma at the age of 30, was taken during a home burglary more than a year ago.

“I’d written it off; like, it was gone,” Lacey told the station.

Police said the camera landed in the hands of 21-year-old Monica Molina, who sold it to a local pawn shop.

Authorities said it was Molina’s boyfriend, 20-year-old David Aguilar, who broke into several homes. A tracking device on a stolen iMac led police to the couple’s residence, according to CBS Los Angeles. 



Inside the home, they reportedly found 21 pawn shop slips, one of which was for Lacey’s camera.

Det. Jerry Verdugo told the station a picture on that camera caught his eye.

“There was a photograph of a neighborhood that had distinct trees and a large wall and when we drove out there, we located [Lacey],” Verdugo said.

Lacey said he was "super surprised and stoked" when police said they had recovered his camera.

Molina was arrested Thursday and denied being involved in the theft.

More property from the string of burglaries remains unclaimed but police hope to track down those items, too,  and reunite them with the owners.