Stolen jail cell door in Union, Nebraska returned

The replacement iron door turned up missing last year after someone cut through the thick hinges.
(PHOTO: WOWT)
Published: Sep. 23, 2022 at 10:44 PM CDT
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UNION, Neb. (WOWT) - An ironic twist in a theft case south of the metro. Someone who could have spent time behind a jail door stole one instead but that thief has been feeling guilty.

Tiny Union Nebraska had a one-room jail that from 1916 to 1940 held prisoners awaiting transfer to the county lockup in Plattsmouth. The original door was torn off in a jailbreak.

Then the replacement iron door turned up missing last year after someone cut through the thick hinges. But this week the unknown thief returned it to the jail building.

Union Village clerk Melissa Hansen told says the door is important to restoring the historic site.

“It’s inspiring to know that someone going through such a hard time in their life would make amends with the Village of Union. We pretty much thought we would never see it again and all the projects we had planned for its restoration kind of went by the wayside,” said Hansen.

A note in a zip lock bag was found attached to the door. It reads in part, “I want to sincerely apologize to this little town for stealing your door. I was on drugs, I’ve since gotten clean and I’m changing my life for the better.”

That could be called a jailhouse confession. The village will keep a closer eye on the iron door while restoration plans for the jail can move forward.

Entire note left by jail door thief
Entire note left by jail door thief(PHOTO: WOWT)