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Thief Steals Memories From Mom Who Lost Three Children

By Bree Sison, WBZ-TV
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WALPOLE (CBS) – A Walpole restaurant is offering up $1,000 to help a mother recover items stolen from her car in the parking lot.

All three of Maureen Palermo’s children died within four years of each other from the same disease.

Last week, a burglar took memories of each of them from Palermo’s black Volvo as she ate dinner.

“Came out [of the restaurant] about 8:45 P.M. As I approached my car, a white canvas bag I had in the backseat was on the ground,” Palermo told WBZ News.

She quickly realized a black messenger bag was missing. Her 15-year-old daughter Lisa carried the bag everywhere before she died a few years ago. Lisa was her youngest child. Her two sons Daniel and Mark also passed away. Each of her children had cystic fibrosis.

“It’s a horrible, horrible, horrible disease,” Palermo explained. The genetic condition attacks the lungs and digestive track, often requiring organ transplants. It is unusual for a family to have so many children with the condition.

Inside Lisa’s stolen messenger bag was Mark’s iPad. The 24-year-old used it to blog from the hospital after surgery this past December. His Android phone, containing countless pictures of events like Occupy Wall Street, was also stolen.

Daniel’s iPod Touch was taken from the Volvo too. The 18-year-old loved theater and music.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Laurie Kirby reports

“Carrying something that belonged to each of them was important to me. The electronics themselves, or the bag, can be replaced. But what’s on them is what’s important to us,” said Palermo.

British Beer Company generously offered up the reward and several of their customers have donated even more money to the fund. The reward total is worth more than the stolen items.

“What these people lost was worth far more than [$1,000]. And it shouldn’t be about the money at this point, it should be about what’s right. These people lost some items that were very personal items and you can’t just replace those,” said Assistant Manager Matt Breen.

The Palermos are asking whoever has their iPad, iPod, Android phone, and messenger bag to bring them back to the British Beer Company or take them to the Walpole Police.

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