Soldier victim of Christmas Eve thieves
Posted December 26, 2011
Fayetteville, N.C. — Staff Sgt. Steven Martinez, the veteran of three deployments, got a rude surprise on Christmas Eve when he returned from a family holiday celebration.
A police officer greeted him. His door jam was scuffed and a window screen ripped. Burglars had broken into the 25-year-old's apartment at Cumberland Towers while he ate dinner and opened presents with family in another unit.
"When I got in, (my) TV was missing, my laptop was gone," Martinez said. His Nintendo Wii, a television from the bedroom and his pistol were also missing.
The electronics that so tempted the thieves were a gift from Martinez to himself a little over a year ago, after his first tour overseas.
"Most of this stuff I got when I got back from Afghanistan," he said. "I was gone for a year. I wanted to give myself a present."
The burglars hit his neighbor, too.
"I didn't think this would ever happen to me, but things can actually happen to you," Martinez said.
Martinez, a member of the 82nd Airborne, just got home from Afghanistan two weeks ago. With a fourth deployment set to begin in February, he was trying to keep his loss in perspective. He still got what he really wanted for Christmas.
"I got to spend it with my family and friends," he said.