by Bill Keeler

It's been a month since an uninvited deviant slipped on to our property during my son's graduation party and walked off with the box containing cards and gifts.  Not a day has gone by that we haven't been, in some way, consumed by the aftermath of this incident and every day that passes I seem to become more frustrated.

There have been developments and some of them I can talk about.

First, Attorney George Aney has offered a $1000 cash reward to the person who provides Ilion Police with information that leads to this person's arrest.  Additionally, Patrick O'Connor of A Moveable Feast catering in New Hartford has added $1000 in gift certificates to be given to the very same person.  We're hoping that these rewards will give incentive for someone to give police the evidence they need to make an arrest.

Police are looking into a person of interest who is approximately 5'6", Italian or Hispanic who lives in the neighborhood of Fourth Ave in Ilion.  This uninvited person, who attended the party and spoke with several guests, spent most of the evening near the dessert table where the locked card box was placed. He is described as someone with tattoos including one on his right arm of a cross with possibly a rope or snake wrapped around it.

We would also like people who attended the party to know that if you gave a check as a gift and your check was cashed, you should contact police immediately at 894-9911.  All of the checks given at the party were stolen, therefore, no checks should have been presented to the bank.

Our family would like to thank everyone who has reached out to us in support over the last few weeks and we're very confident that the Ilion Police will complete a thorough investigation that will ultimately lead to the arrest of the person or persons responsible.  We also believe that this very unfortunate incident for our family will serve as a red flag for other families reminding them to take careful caution when holding their own celebrations in the future.