JOANNE Deliu has had some bad luck and some good luck this year.
A family heirloom was stolen from her home in Midland earlier this month.
She saw it featured on Crimestoppers after a jeweller was approached to pawn the item by a man the pawnbroker suspected had stolen property.
“When the item was advertised on Facebook it was recognised by Joanne who was online at the time,” Constable Mick Slaughter from Crimestoppers said.
“I could not believe it when I was scrolling through Facebook and it came up,” Ms Deliu said.
“It was my great-great-grandfather’s piece and I did not even know it had been stolen. I thought it was at home.
“As soon as I saw it I went to the jewellery box where I keep my things and realised it was indeed missing.”
Ms Deliu had to prove it was her family which owned the piece and show the police how it had been handed down through the family to her.
“It actually belonged to my great-aunt, who left it to me in her will,” she said.
Luckily one of Ms Deliu’s friends had been helping her to complete a family genealogy for posterity and had just completed the work and handed it to her.
She took it to police to show how the locket had been handed down since colony settlers arrived in Melbourne in the 1850s.
Before that Ms Deliu had been trawling through her jewellery looking for a piece for her daughter’s wedding.
“There were some pieces from my mother I wanted to find,” she said.
“When I saw the jewellery box open I thought I must have left it like that.”
Ms Deliu’s family are from Victoria originally and lived in a homestead in Kew near Studley Park.
The item was damaged in the theft and no longer has the necklace it was hanging on.
“That was made of small black onyx and other beads and looks like a Tiffany chain but black,” she said.
“I would be so happy if we could recover it.”
Ms Deliu is the third owner in her family of the necklace and locket.
Her Victorian relative’s surnames were McEvoy, Greenlaw and Elliott in Melbourne.
Anyone who may have seen or has the chain the locket was originally hanging on can contact Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.