ROCHELLE – A very special garden windmill that was stolen out a resident’s front lawn weeks earlier, was recently discovered by a father and son spending quality time together.
The 5-foot tall garden windmill was purchased at an auction by Joanne Rogde who has always had a fondness for windmills. She put the windmill in a flower patch in the front yard, underneath an American flag since her husband was a veteran.
Her husband was also a die-hard Chicago Cubs fan, so when his health declined and he got very sick she stripped it down and painted the windmill “Cubby blue,” with the Cubs logo on one of the blades. Her husband would look out the window at the windmill to see if it were too windy to sit on his porch swing.
Her husband has since passed away and one day she looked out that same window and cried, when she saw the windmill had been stolen. She informed the Rochelle Police Department and on April 18, made a Facebook post asking for any information and has been searching for it since.
Totally unaware of the missing windmill, Adam Moore and his 13-year-old son, Mason, saw a video online of a person going “magnet fishing.” Magnet fishing is when a person puts a powerful magnet on the end of a rope and pulls things out of lakes and rivers.
The two thought this was cool, so Adam bought a magnet that could hold up to 500 pounds and took his son to Spring Lake. The first thing that Mason pulled from the water was the missing windmill.
“My husband purchased the magnet and we live right by Spring Lake, so last night [Thursday] my husband took him out to the lake,” Mason’s mom, Stephanie Moore said. “He dropped the magnet at the end of the dock and the very first thing he pulled out of the water was this windmill.”
Stephanie’s husband showed her a photo of the windmill and she remembered seeing the Facebook post from the Rochelle Police Department weeks earlier. The windmill did not have an excess amount of moss on it and showed no signs of rust, so the family does not believe it was in the water long.
Stephanie sent a photo of the windmill to her friend, Jen, who also wondered if it was the windmill that had been stolen, so she called the police department. The police then confirmed it was the missing windmill and that the owner was Stephanie’s friend who also happens to be Jen’s aunt — Joanne Rogde.
“After speaking to the police, it turned out that it was actually Jen’s aunt’s windmill and I thought it was a crazy coincidence that we ended up finding it,” said Moore.
The Rochelle Police have since picked up the windmill to return to Rogde. On the original Facebook post, Clint Garner, Rogde’s son-in-law, offered a monetary reward for returning the windmill and has reached out to the Moore family about sending them the money.
Mason plans to use a portion of the reward to make some sort of Chicago Cubs plaque for the owner to put next to the windmill. The Moore’s say having found the missing windmill is not about the reward and are just happy it will once again be cherished by it’s rightful owner.
“I feel bad that somebody would even steal that from her yard but am just glad that she got it back, because it had a lot of sentimental value to her,” said Stephanie.