There was an emotional call Tuesday from a Calgary man hoping for the return of some priceless pieces of his past.
This comes after Don Zawasky was the victim of two recent burglaries at the auto restoration shop where he has been working his magic for nearly half a century.
The burglaries at Donz Wheels of Time Restoration in northeast Calgary occurred two days apart over the Canada Day long weekend.
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“They knocked that down,” Zawasky said, pointing to a large industrial fan mounted in the wall, “and went through it. And the second time they smashed the wall.
Hundreds of objects were taken during the two burglaries.
“$5,000 worth of stolen Hot Wheels and my photo albums,” Zawasky said. “They stole all the pictures of the work I did on all those cars.”
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Since opening his business in 1973, Zawasky has restored hundreds of vehicles, including one ridden by royalty.
“Queen Mom, in a 1948 Daimler,” Zawasky said. “A museum in Victoria sent me the car – I worked there in the early 90s.”
In addition to photos of Zawasky’s work and collectibles like Hot Wheels model cars, dozens of tools were also taken during the break-ins.
“They took all the air tools and grinders, and they took hammers,” Zawasky said, estimating the total value of all stolen items at “at least $10,000.”
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Zawasky says his tools were too old to be insured and he’s sad there are so many that can’t be replaced.
“My personal story means a lot to me and my family, my grandchildren,” Zawasky said.
Zawasky appeals to whoever broke into his store.
“You can have my Hot Wheels, but my tools and my photo albums, are you just going to throw them in the trash?” Zawasky said. “Because they’re worth nothing to anyone but me, so I’d appreciate if someone put them in a box.” Please bring my tools back, so I can finish my hobby, it’s my job.
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