Resident hopes for return of lawn ornament with sentimental value

By: Victoria Mitchell | Royal Oak Review | Published October 14, 2015


ROYAL OAK — The yard ornament stolen from Joyce Zeleji’s yard isn’t replaceable, and that is why she wants it back.

“My husband bought it for me, and my husband passed away on New Year’s Eve last year, and it’s a real memory for him to have given that to me, and I really, really miss it,” she said.

The ornament was a 4-foot-long double-barreled shotgun made out of copper and brass tubes — not a real gun. It was placed in her backyard below the top of her gate.

“I made a special stand for it myself,” she said. “And I want it back. I really miss it.”

Zeleji said she had the ornament at her home in Pinckney for about 10 years before she brought it to her new home in Royal Oak in the 3200 block of Woodland Avenue, west of Crooks and just a couple doors down from 13 Mile Road.

According to Royal Oak police reports, someone entered Zeleji’s backyard before 6 p.m. Sept. 27 and stole the copper and brass lawn decoration.

Zeleji has been putting up fliers around town and trying to think of unique ways to spread the word. She wants everyone to know what happened and what the copper and steel shotgun looks like in case someone has seen it.

“That’s the only way people will know and that I may possibly get it back,” she said.

The resident said that if anyone has it or knows where it is, they can either take it to the police or put it back in her yard and no questions will be asked.

“They know where they got it; they could put it in my back gate or on my front porch,” she said.

Zeleji said it isn’t very heavy, as the brass tubing is hollow. It should be easy to return.

“I’m really serious about getting this back and getting the word out to get this back,” she said.