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MARYSVILLE ? A central Ohio 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, written in German Gothic script and containing 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 told The Columbus Dispatch for a story Tuesday. "History can never be replaced."

The effort started with the arrest of four men in the burglary. A judge offered to give one of the defendants a break if he could find the Bible. But the man came up empty, saying that he thought it had been dropped in some kind of bin.

A few weeks ago, one of Shier's cousins saw a reference to an old German Bible on the website ancestry.com. She called Shier, who called the sheriff's office in Union County where he lives.

Sheriff's detectives enlisted the help of Goodwill, which had sold the Bible online, and tracked it to Louisiana and then to Georgia. But the couple who had bought it wouldn't send it back without recouping the $405 they had paid for it.

The sheriff's office doesn't buy back stolen goods. So the Union County police union stepped up and covered the cost.

"This was no stolen television," said detective Mike Justice, who worked on the case and is president of the Union County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 171. "It's a family heirloom, and we believed it was important to get it back."

On Saturday night, the treasured book was carried down the aisle and presented to Shier during the police lodge's annual benefit concert at a high school auditorium.

Shier's family ended up donating enough money to repay the police union.

from: The Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com

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Nice to see them helping out to get it returned even when it was not within the ability of the station itself to get it done.

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I can't see getting so worked up over an easily replacable book. :huh:

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I can't see getting so worked up over an easily replacable book. :huh:

I can understand this. That bible has many handwritten family history so it's valuable.

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I can understand this too. To them it's part of their heritage. Glad they got it back.

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I am glad he got his 300 year old family bible back. Being so old it may be worth some money.

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Stolen Bible eh. The irony :p

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"Sheriff's detectives enlisted the help of Goodwill, which had sold the Bible online, and tracked it to Louisiana and then to Georgia. But the couple who had bought it wouldn't send it back without recouping the $405 they had paid for it.

The sheriff's office doesn't buy back stolen goods. So the Union County police union stepped up and covered the cost."

Isn't this unlawful? It is possession of stolen property. Does not matter if you legally bought it or not. The police should of just gone over there and been like "You are in possession of stolen property. Hand it back, or you will be under arrest." The couple should of recouped the costs of all this not from donators, but from people responsible for the theft and distribution... including the criminals behind bars now, Goodwill, etc.

The fact that Goodwill sold it, means that they should of given the money back. Instead, it seems they profited from stolen goods.

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I am glad he got his 300 year old family bible back. Being so old it may be worth some money.

Apparently 405$

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