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Thieves Steal Vietnam Veteran's Medals During Oroville Dam Evacuation

YUBA CITY (CBS13) — Thieves took advantage of evacuations in the wake of the Oroville Dam spillway crisis and stole a veteran's medals.

Yuba City and Marysville police both report less than a dozen burglaries during the days when residents were evacuated from their homes, but one case stands out.

Vietnam veteran Mike Pomeroy had numerous medals and honors taken from him, including Purple Hearts. "They took some irreplaceable stuff," he told CBS13. "They took soldier's medals and valor awards, they took Purple Hearts and an air medal."

Hours after Pomeroy and his wife left their home, thieves broke a window to get into their home. The thieves snatched medals out of a briefcase upstairs, taking three gold pocket watches, pearls and countless other items.

Pomeroy tucked away the honors and memories of the difficult time like so many soldiers did after Vietnam. The theft isn't just a huge loss, but it's brought up some deep emotions. Add to it that since it's been so long since he opened that briefcase, he's not even sure what exactly is missing.

"They're not good to anybody but me," he said.

The theft is not only a tough loss, but has brought up some emotionally difficult memories. Add to that it's been so long since he looked at the decades-old items, he's not even sure what's missing.

"I've got to itemize and I haven't been emotionally set to go up there and pick out where all the empty spots are and say, 'What was in that spot? What are you missing here? What are you missing there?' You just don't know," he said.

Yuba City police has not made any arrests, but Marysville police said they were able to make an arrest in a separate case and get items back to the owner. Pomeroy is hoping he can be just as lucky.

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