Stolen 300-year-old family Bible comes home

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MARYSVILLE, Ohio (AP) — A man’s heart sank when he realized that burglars had broken in and stolen a safe holding his most prized possession — a 300-year-old family Bible.

The Lutheran Bible, in German Gothic script with the handwritten dates of births, deaths and marriages for seven generations of Tim Shier’s family, went missing in the burglary in Marysville, near Columbus, in December 2011.

But thanks to a bit of luck, a sharp-eyed family member, local deputies and Goodwill — which had ended up with the Bible and then sold it online — the heirloom is back in Shier’s hands.

He called it an answer to his prayers. “Our family can’t put a price on that Bible,” Shier said. “History can never be replaced.”

The effort started with the arrest of four men in the burglary. A judge offered on defendant a break if he could find the Bible. But he couldn’t Sheriff’s detectives enlisted the help of Goodwill, which had sold the Bible online, and tracked it to Georgia. But the couple who had bought it wouldn’t send it back without recouping the $405 they had paid for it.

The Union County police union covered the cost. “This was no stolen television,” said detective Mike Justice. Shier’s family donated enough to repay the police union.

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