World War II

Priceless Memories of WWII Romance Stolen From Car

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Having your personal property stolen is bad enough, but for a local author, the contents of a backpack are more than just a laptop and other assorted items.

The backpack contained a lifetime’s worth of priceless memories.

Tony Lifonti of Glenbard North arrived at a West Town restaurant just before 8 p.m. on Monday, and he made the fateful decision to leave his backpack in his truck.

“I was early and he was running late,” he said. “I left my computer bag in my truck. I covered it with my coat.”

The English teacher and wrestling coach said the valet was busy, and that he didn’t think much of leaving his backpack hidden under a black coat, behind tinted windows.

That decision was a mistake, and when Lifonti came back out to his vehicle, the backpack was gone. Inside of the backpack was a computer, and it contained incredibly precious data.

“It was the next book I was working on. A World War II love story,” he said. “It was how my grandfather met my grandmother. It had 110 poems he wrote to her, and my external hard drive. It also had 23 years of teaching materials.”

Lifonti’s work also included pigeon air messages and love letters written between the two lovers. He says that all told, there were over 6,000 hours worth of work that he had put into the project, and it’s gone.

He says that he and his wife are considering a reward to encourage the thief to return the backpack and its contents, no questions asked. He says his address is on the backpack.

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