A woman who hoped to scatter her father's ashes among Northern California's famous redwoods had that dream shattered Wednesday, when an unknown thief (or thieves) stole the dead man's remains from her car as it was parked in a San Francisco garage.
The Chron has the terrible tale: 56-year-old North Carolina man Joe Wilkinson was felled by a heart attack on August 19 of last year. He was always a fan of “magic that this city has,” his daughter Julia says. Julia and her mom, Mary, traveled to SF to celebrate Joe's life and enjoy "all the Fisherman’s Wharf things that Joe had loved while he was alive: feasting on Dungeness crab and wandering up and down the pier and stopping by the sea lions and living life at leisure" this Wednesday.
Today mom and daughter has planned to head north in their rental car to scatter Joe's ashes in a NorCal redwood grove, but that plan was thwarted by thieves who, the Chron reports, broke into their vehicle and stole everything in the trunk: "a suitcase full of 'irreplaceable clothes,'" that had belonged to Joe, credit cards and cash, and "the velvet-wrapped silver container that held Joe’s remains."
“They took a suitcase, they took a wallet, and then they took my dad,” Julia says. And even worse:
No one wanted to help her.
Wilkinson said she called 311, then 911, where dispatchers on both lines told her they wouldn’t send officers to the scene unless a person was missing. One was missing, she reasoned, but it was a little complicated.
They insisted, she said, that she would have to file an online report or come into a police station in person. And the attendants at the parking lot said there was little they could do, either — one eventually offered to reimburse her the $32 parking bill from the garage.
“My dad is worth way more than $32,” she said.
Julia was eventually able to file an online report with the San Francisco Police Department, which didn't respond to a request for comment on the case. She's also scoured area consignment shops to see if her possessions — or Joe's remains — had turned up there. So far, no luck.
“The cops won’t do anything because this is a habitual thing,” Julie told the Chron. “I wish I could get my clothes back," she told the paper, "but my main concern is getting my dad.”