Art Pauly, 44, said the ashes of his wife Ann, 62, who died Sept. 24, were returned by his neighbors the day after they were taken The Riverside (Calif.) Press-Enterprise reported Tuesday
One of the neighbors had spotted the suspected burglar walking on their street with the box of ashes. She and her husband confronted the man, and when he refused to surrender the box the husband punched him and grabbed it as the suspect fled.
The box had been stolen from Pauly's Highland home along with a computer, big-screen television and two jewelry boxes.
It's possible the burglar thought the box with the ashes was another jewelry box, Pauly said.
"I'm so grateful for what people did to get it back," Pauly said.