A plaque honoring the late William Saroyan has been stolen from his last residence, yourcentralvalley.com reports.
The new owners say they noticed the plaque was taken along with tools in the garage this week.
The plaque has been on the front of the house for 25 years and details some of the work the Pulitzer Prize winning author did the last 17 years of his life in the house.
Neighbor Ernie Baca lives next door and knew Saroyan as a kid.
“He gave me my first book when I was five years old and he signed it to read to my little sister,” Garza said.
Few neighbors on West Griffith Way have such fond memories of the home. They know it for going into foreclosure, attracting squatters and falling into disrepair.
“We’ve been broken into. Everyone has been broken into. It’s the times. Everyone is down on their luck,” Deborah Robles said.
The new owners say they just want the plaque returned. They are in the process of selling the house to a nonprofit which plans to restore the house and make it a historical place.
“That would be nice if they could do something with that house and raise the property values that would be wonderful. That is the worst house in the neighborhood,” Robles said.
Many have speculated it was stolen for the metal. But Baca says it is a piece of Armenian Heritage and Fresno History.
“If the person is watching who took this it should mean nothing to them. You can bring it to my house and put it on the porch,” he said.