By Charlie De Mar

CHICAGO (CBS) — Normally, a stolen shovel wouldn’t make the news – but with all that’s going on these days, we weren’t about to pass this one up.

As CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar reported, this is a story of neighbor helping neighbor, and one as-yet-unknown snow shovel thief who ruined it for everyone.

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Daniel Strife and Christa Roome live in Bucktown. To give you an idea of what their neighborhood is like, there’s a little free library on the block where people are trusted to take or leave a book.

So the couple thought they would to the same with their snow shovel – and what better timing? Sidewalks are covered, and parking spots are being dug out and claimed.

“As you can see, we get a lot of snowed in cars on the street,” Strife said.

So up until this week, there was a shovel in front of Roome’s home that was free for anyone to borrow.

“Everybody who asked to borrow it returned it at the end. We kept finding it at the door again,” Strife said. “And then, by the end of the week, though, it was gone.”

The spot where the yellow shovel once rested now sits empty. The shovel is missing.

“No good deed goes unpunished,” Strife said. “We kind of like to think even though we’re in a city, it’s still a neighborhood.”

“It’s something so meaningless, but so meaningful,” Roome added, “especially right now.”

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Especially right now indeed. Tuesday was a sunny day, but also a day after snow fell on top of old snow that dates back as far as the weekend before last – and more is coming soon enough.

Strife has put a call out to neighbors asking for surveillance video. So far, the only witnesses are the stuffed animals they have in the window.

Strife: “I’d be happy to go frame by frame through people’s security if it filled my night.”

De Mar: “So you want your shovel back.”

Strife: “Eh, I just want something to do right now.”

The couple won’t let this unneighborly act keep them from doing some good. A replacement shovel will soon be back on the front porch for anyone to borrow.

“I think to us, it was probably worth the loss of the shovel to help people out for the week,” Strife said.

“It’s not going to stop me – we’ll just put it that way,” Roome said. “It’s not going to stop us.”

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As you can tell, the couple isn’t mad. But if you do have the shovel or know where it is, you can leave it back on their stoop – no questions asked.

Charlie De Mar