A Vietnam War veteran is left heartbroken after someone broke into his house and stole memories preserved on three computers.
“Those three computers have my life history in them. Photos of my family… Photos of my parents before they passed away,” said Gene Rano, of Marlborough.
He was in the hospital when the burglary happened.
One of the computers had photos of his daughter who died at 12 years old.
“Pictures of her playing in our backyard with her little brother,” said Rano. “Pictures of her at Easter time with her grandmother, me and my wife.”
In all, Rano says the thief made off with about $15,000 worth of electronic equipment. Thousands of dollars in cash is also missing from his home.
“So here I sit discouraged and praying every single day that the good Lord takes care of the thieves, catches them and I get my things back,” said Rano.
The theft is just the latest blow for the burglary victim. Rano is a disabled veteran who fought in the Vietnam War almost 50 years ago. He is recovering from a stroke and a bad motorcycle crash which left him immobile to the point where he needs a wheelchair to get around.
“It happened to him. But, you know, I got emotional over it, also thinking who could do something like that,” said Anthony DePasquale, a friend of Rano.
Rano says in the end, he doesn’t care so much about the stolen money.
“You can keep the money and go on a vacation if you need it more than me,” said Rano.
Rano would like his memories back on those computers.
“How do you start over again when your life history is gone and you don’t know where to begin? I’m 66 years old. I’m in a wheelchair,” said Rano. “You know what am I going to do.”
Rano said the thief even took an envelope containing currency from Italy. It was an envelope given to him by his grandfather.
He said he values the envelope more than what was inside because his grandfather’s signature was on it with the notation,
“To my little bambino.”