Deputy Albert Knight served with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office for about 10 years during the 1940s and 50s.
"He'd tell us stories. It was pretty cool," his son Steven Knight recalled.
Steven kept his father's law enforcement tools of the trade – his gun and badge – in a keepsake shadowbox in his home as an honor to his dad. Last month the box was stolen during a daytime burglary in his Brandon home.
"Basically, a lot of emotions started falling in right then. One, of the emotion that you've been violated. Two, that things had been stolen that were personal," Knight said.
The burglars continued to hit more homes and kick in doors, even firing a shot at one man that caught them in the act. Now Hillsborough deputies have arrested two men in connection with the burglaries that yielded nearly $100,000 in stolen guns, jewelry, coins and other additional items.
The reconstructed shadowbox containing precious memories of one of their own was returned to its rightful owner Tuesday by Sheriff David Gee and detectives.
"The very first thing that everybody wanted to do was to get those badges and the gun back to the victim. Just being one of our own … it was a great feeling," said Detective Bob Brush.
A Rolex watch that belonged to Detective Albert Knight as well as his .38-caliber revolver and badge are now back under glass courtesy of the detectives from District Four. His dad has been gone a few years now, but Steven holds dear the memories of him.
"It's a lot of emotions when you have something like that taken away from you. Now you get it recovered and it's back. I was starting to choke up a little bit there. I was trying to hold it back," Steven said.