CHICAGO (CBS/AP) — A Chicago woman spent Christmas day searching dumpsters after someone smashed her car window and stole costumes that she calls “priceless.”

Five handmade Polish folk costumes were stolen between Saturday night and Sunday morning from a car in Wicker Park during a smash-and-grab robbery.

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The owner of the car, Marlena Dzis said the five costumes, each custom made with beads and embroidery, would be very difficult to replace.

“They are very, very ornate. They are handmade and sewn in Poland. They are so special to me,” Dzis said.

Each costume represents a different region in Poland. They are on loan from The Lira Ensemble, a professional performing arts company specializing in Polish music, song and dance. Dzis is a singer with the ensemble.

The costumes were taken from her car in the 1400 block of Wicker Park Avenue. She has talked with pawn shops, resale shops and checked dumpsters. Dzis even followed a garbage truck brought to a dump.

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“He was like, ‘honestly your chances are one-in-a-million if they were thrown away,'” Dzis said.

She has performances coming up this weekend and hopes they turn up before then.

“For someone to steal something that represents your culture, your heritage and your family, it’s just so sad,” Dzis said.

If anyone has seen the garments, or has tips, email

Attorney Donna Makowski, a member of the Polish Advocates Society, said she was offering a $1,000 reward for the safe return of the costumes, no questions asked. She can be reached at her offices at 53 W. Jackson Blvd.

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