A Chicago woman is desperately searching for what she calls a priceless possession after smash and grab robbers stole rare Polish folk costumes from her car just before Christmas.
Local singer Marley Dzis says that the costumes, which she wears while singing with the Lira Ensemble, were stolen from her car while it was parked outside her home in the city’s Wicker Park neighborhood on Dec. 23.
The costumes, five in all, were in a garment bag in the back seat of the vehicle, and when she woke up the next morning, they were gone. She checked nearby garbage cans and alleys, and ultimately filed a police report.
“It’s one of those things like ‘who’s gonna want Polish folk costumes?’” she said. “They’re shipped from Poland. You can’t just buy them at the store. They are custom fitted for me.”
Dzis estimates that the costumes are worth a few thousand dollars, but to her, they are priceless.
“Someone might not know just how meaningful (they are) to our audience from Poland,” she said. “They’re not just pieces of clothing. They bring back memories, memories of a country that’s now far away.”
Attorney Donna Makowski, a member of the Polish Advocates Society, is offering a $1000 reward for the costumes if they are returned to her office, no questions asked. Her office is located at 53 West Jackson in the city.
The unique beading and sewing that goes into each costume makes them nearly impossible for someone to resell or to wear themselves, and Dzis hopes that those qualities will help the costumes get back into her possession.
“(Please) just return them to any police station,” she said. “I just want them back so I can perform in them again.”
Dzis also said that the person responsible for the theft can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org if they want to contact her to arrange a return of the costumes.