MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — Liz Hess wasn’t home the afternoon of July 16, when a group of armed teenagers burst into her house. She arrived later — after her 17-year-old grandson had been held at gunpoint and, according to police reports, forced to open the family’s safe.
"I looked into the safe and I noticed a couple of things that were still there that I treasured, and I was happy about that,” Hess said Wednesday night. “Then I realized what was gone. I broke down. He broke down.”
The four teenagers had absconded with three guns and a number of heirlooms, including Hess and her husband’s wedding rings, her mother’s wedding rings and another ring passed down through their family.
"They weren't priceless, but they were priceless in my heart,” Hess said.
The teenagers had been arrested by Wednesday night, according to police. Their names had not been publicly released, but their ages had. One was 17; two were 16; the youngest was 15.
All four stood charged with aggravated burglary, theft of a firearm, tampering with evidence, carrying a concealed weapon and obstructing official business.
Two of the guns had been recovered, according to Hess, but the jewelry remained missing.
She doesn’t think she’ll ever see it again, she said.
"They should have never done this,” she added. “I hope they learned their lesson."