A neighbor whose house was also burglarized Sunday has joined the quest to help Bob Herrle get his wife’s cremains back.

Larry and Deborah Bowin have offered a $1,500 reward for information leading to the arrest of a pair of burglars who broke into multiple homes Sunday morning on Delwood Drive and Spiritwood Loop in Black Forest.

The reward could increase to $3,000 if Herrle is able to match his neighbor's offer after checking with his insurance company.

“We really want to get this guy,” said Deborah Bowin on Wednesday morning. “My children used to garden with Terry (Herrle) and they called her ‘grandma.’”

Like Bob Herrle, the Bowins were also at church when the burglaries happened around 9 a.m. The thieves took several items from the Bowins' house about a half mile away from Herrle’s home on Delwood Drive, including Larry’s gun collection, Deborah’s rings, bank information, credit cards and medication.

The Bowins’ daughter-in-law was in the home and sleeping on the lower level when the break-in occurred.

“She said she heard a bunch of noise upstairs and heard voices she didn’t recognize,” Deborah Bowin said. The daughter-in-law came face-to-face with one of the burglars when she went upstairs to investigate.

“She said he had a big knapsack on his back like Santa Claus and that he just ran out the front door,” Deborah Bowin said.

The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office said  the burglars were white men in their 20s. According to Bowin, her daughter-in-law said the man she confronted was tall with what looked like acne on both cheeks.

Sheriff’s deputies are still investigating the crimes. On Monday, the Sheriff’s Office put out a plea to the burglars to bring Terry Herrle’s cremains to a fire station or another public location, “even if anonymously,” the press release said. Anyone with information can call the Sheriff’s Office at 390-5555.

Terry Herrle died Jan. 1, 2009, of ovarian cancer. Her cremains were in a mahogany-colored wooden box that was sitting on a dresser in Bob Herrle’s home. Herrle believes the burglars thought it was a jewelry box.

“It sure looks like one,” he said. “You can’t get into it unless you take it apart, so they just grabbed it and ran with it.”

Call the writer at 636-0362