Car prowlers steal local veteran's backpack containing Bronze Star, police say

WEST LINN, Ore. - Police say someone broke into a car in West Linn and stole a U.S. Army backpack containing a local veteran's Bronze Star and letter from the president.

The theft happened late Wednesday night or early Thursday near Tanner Creek Park, according to police.

The thief stole a camouflage backpack from the trunk of the car. Inside the backpack was a Bronze Star awarded to the victim on his last combat tour in Afghanistan, and a letter from President Barack Obama. The backpack also contained photos, official documents and service awards.

"Everything I've done in my military career basically was in that. It's called an "I love me" book or an "about Me Book," Staff Segeant Daniel Tomes said.

The backpack is similar to the one in the photo and has a patch that says "229 Training Brigade."

"We are taught in the army to be resilient and bounce back and turn something bad into learning and something good so," Tomes said.

West Linn police are asking everyone in the area of Tanner Creek Park to check their yards and trash cans for the backpack. Anyone who finds it is asked to call police at 503-635-0238.

Police say there have been several car prowls in the last two weeks where items were discarded by the suspects, and later returned to the victims by police.