(WMC-TV) - A Memphis woman is asking for family heirlooms back after they were sold by a thief.
It is a complicated story but the jewelry company says this type of crime happens far too often, so they have policies in place to protect themselves in these situations.
Cheryl Dockery is grieving the loss of her husband. Now, she is also missing the jewelry he gave her before he died.
"This is all I have left are the gifts that he gave me, and now they are gone," said Dockery.
Her husband, a 36-year Marine veteran, recently lost his battle to cancer. He was exposed to Agent Orange chemicals during the Vietnam War. The risk of cancer is said to be increased for people exposed to it.
Dockery said the jewelry her husband gave her was stolen by a loved one, and then sold to Memphis Jewelry for cash.
"It's still there and they refuse to sell it to me and they're going to send it to a refinery and melt it down as scrap," said Dockery.
The store manager at Memphis Jewelry on Mendenhall Road did not want to speak on camera, but she said all transactions are final. She also said it is against their policy to resell Mrs. Dockery her jewelry because they do not operate as a pawn shop, although they buy jewelry and gold.
The Shelby County Sheriff's Office says their hands are tied because Dockery does not want to prosecute the person who stole and sold her jewelry.
"If you don't prosecute the individual in question you take law enforcement out of the equation," said Chip Washington, Shelby County Sheriff's Office.
Although Dockery has proof that the items were stolen, the sheriff's office says the law is on the side of the business.
"It is completely and solely up to the pawn shop whether he wants to sell you any particular item or not," said Washington.
"I'm too soft hearted and I love this person very, very much and I don't want to ruin their life any more than it is," Dockery said about the person who stole her jewelry.
Dockery says she will not prosecute and made one last plea to Memphis Jewelry, "Please let me have my items back, what is it off your back to let me have my items back?"
Dockery says she left a voicemail with the manager at Memphis Jewelry and she is still waiting to hear back, hoping that they will reconsider her offer.