Police arrest man in theft of veteran's backpack containing Bronze Star

WEST LINN, Ore. - West Linn police on Saturday arrested a transient who they said broke into a local veteran's car and stole his U.S. Army backpack containing a Bronze Star and letter from the president earlier this month.

The stolen medal and other military honors inside the backpack, including a letter from President Barack Obama, were not found.

Casey Lee Murphy, 28, faces three counts of unlawful entry into a vehicle.

Police said someone found military paperwork belonging to Staff Sergeant Daniel Tomes near a Tigard shopping center earlier this week. Tomes' other items were no found.

Police identified Murphy as the suspect and took him into custody on Saturday in Tigard. Officers took him to the Clackamas County Jail.

KATU spoke with Tomes' wife, Mary Kathleen Tomes, who said Sen. Ron Wyden's office is working to replace the medal and military honors for her husband.

The theft happened near Tanner Creek Park, according to police. There had been several previous reports of car prowling in the area.

Anyone who finds any items belonging to Tomes is asked to call West Linn police at 503-635-0238.