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Military artifacts stolen

PORT ORCHARD — Kitsap County Sheriff’s detectives are asking for help to locate a piece of stolen personal property containing military artifacts, awards, memorabilia and components that belong to a U.S. Army veteran of World War II.

The veteran is currently hospitalized. His residence was recently burglarized in a series of residential property crimes that occurred last week in the Mission Lake and Panther Lake areas of the west central area of the county.

While many stolen items recovered by detectives have now been returned to owners, this veteran’s property has not been found: a military style footlocker, 2 feet (width) by 2 feet (height) by 3 feet (length), blue-green in color. The chest contains the veteran’s service and campaign awards together with his Bronze Star medal for gallantry in action in the Pacific Theater during the war, along with additional artifacts and memorabilia related to the veteran’s military service.

Three suspects remain in custody in jail, charged earlier this week in Kitsap County District Court with property crimes that include unlawful possession of a firearm and possessing stolen property, related to the series of burglaries and thefts that occurred last week including that mentioned above.

Sheriff’s patrol deputies and detectives, working with a sheriff’s K-9 team, pursued and apprehended these three on Aug. 2, when a “stash” of stolen household appliances and other stolen personal items were discovered on a private dirt trail, obviously staged for later retrieval.

As the investigation was initiated, the three were observed by a patrol deputy in a stolen Ford F-250 truck that was towing a stolen piece of equipment. A short pursuit entailed until the truck crashed and the three fled on foot. They were apprehended, with K-9 persistence, hiding in thick underbrush not far from the crash scene.

Stolen property recovered in the course of the follow-up investigation included a significant number of hand tools, power tools, generators, clothing items, drill sets, various types of woodworking saws and other construction-related work equipment, along with household appliances, personal items and stolen firearms.

The three are being held in jail on bail amounts ranging from $200,000 to $55,000.

Persons with information about the stolen veteran’s chest containing the military artifacts and awards, please contact Detective Chad Birkenfeld at (360) 337-5619 or CBirkenf@co.kitsap.wa.us.

Detectives believe that the chest is possibly in the west Kitsap County or north Mason County areas.

 

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