The ashes of John Mogck's wife, Rita, were stored in the bedroom safe until he could take them to Germany, his wife's birthplace, for burial, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Friday.
The safe also contained rare gold and silver coins, $4,000 in cash and important documents such as Mogck's passport and birth certificate. But Mogck told the Inquirer he just wants his wife's ashes returned.
The theft occurred Jan. 24 at Mogck's home in the Bustleton section of Philadelphia.
Mogck, 71, said a man who said he was with a tree service working down the street asked to see Mogck's trees in the backyard. After the man left, Mogck went inside and discovered the safe, which had been bolted to the floor, had been ripped out and was missing.
Mogck said moving the safe downstairs would have required at least two men. Marks on the concrete steps appear to show where the safe was dragged to the sidewalk.
A neighbor's security camera footage showed a van backing into Mogck's driveway and leaving a short time later.