Burglars steal inheritance of guns, sports cards



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Posted on July 4, 2012 at 9:53 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 4 at 10:24 PM

BURLESON — Paula Downs' collection of sports cards was said to be astounding.

"It makes me sick every time I think about it," she said. "It's just sad that's all we got left."

Thieves took all but two trays of baseball and football cards that Downs had in storage, including Troy Aikman as a rookie along with Roger Staubach and Dan Marino's earliest cards.

Only a few hundred are left. Thousands were stolen.

But that's not all. Burglars also got guns — at least 20 rifles and pistols.

In all, more than $50,000 worth of belongings were stolen.

"I'm devastated. I'm sick. I want to throw up," Downs said. "That's the kids' stuff. I'm never going to be able to pay for their college."

She inherited it all from her dad, who lost his struggle with cancer last fall at age 64.

Downs figured the cards and guns would be safer in storage than around her children at home, but burglars proved her wrong when they broke into her unit at Willow Creek Storage in the 2900 block of Southwest Wilshire Boulevard in Burleson last Friday.

Police said surveillance cameras malfunctioned and did not capture the crime on tape.

The owner of that storage complex refused to talk to News 8, but investigators said it was his business that reported the crime.

Even though no surveillance video exists, Burleson police said they were able to collect some evidence at the scene.

Investigators said no other unit was touched, leading Downs to consider the possibility that someone targeted hers.

"I'm also afraid they're going to use the guns the way they shouldn't be used. I don't want them to hurt anybody," she said.

E-mail jwhitely@wfaa.com