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How Facebook Brought Together Two Local Strangers And Led To The Return Of A Stolen Stopwatch

About 10 years ago, a silver-plated stopwatch was stolen from the St. Louis home of Mike St. Vrain’s mother during a home invasion.

Thought long lost, St. Vrain of rural Franklin County received an unexpected call earlier this week. The call was from a family friend who saw a post on the public Facebook group, “St. Louis History, Landmarks & Vintage Photos.”

The post from Stasha Lanigan-Wyman of Fenton included a photo of the box containing the timepiece and asked, “Does anyone know this address or recognize this man’s name?”

Credit (Courtesy: Stasha Lanigan-Wyman)
Stasha Lanigan-Wyman posted this photo on a public Facebook group asking if anyone knew the address or recognized the man identified.

“My mom bought it at an antique store in St. Louis,” said Lanigan-Wyman. “My daughter who was three at the time fell in love with it. So my mom sent it home with us as kind of a toy. I didn’t think it looked much like a toy so I held on to it.”

The stopwatch originally belonged to Les St. Vrain, Mike’s father who passed away in 1986.

Within twenty-four hours Lanigan-Wyman and St. Vrain met at a grocery store in Fenton, where Lanigan-Wyman returned the lost item.

“I know it has sentimental and intrinsic value to you. Intrinsic value is more important than anything else. It needed to go back to you,” said Lanigan-Wyman.

St. Vrain has three brothers. He plans to get together with them this weekend and says he’s told them to expect a big surprise. “(The stopwatch) belonged to my father. It’s special and Stasha is special for her kindness, her integrity and willingness to search for the owner,” said St. Vrain.

Cityscape is produced by Mary Edwards and Alex Heuer and sponsored in part by the Missouri Arts Council, the Regional Arts Commission, and the Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis.

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