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Box filled with veteran's mementos stolen

Posted August 19, 2008

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— A Fayetteville doctor has offered a reward to recover some mementos that were stolen from his home last month.

Thieves used a ladder to climb on top of the covered back porch at Dr. Tinsley Rucker's Torcross Drive home on July 19 and break in through a bathroom window, police said.

"Somebody, obviously, was watching us. They knew we were both gone and very quickly went in the house," Rucker said. "We've never had a break-in in this area. Our neighbors have never had a break-in."

He didn't realize he had been burglarized until that night.

"When I looked at my dresser, I found that my coin jar on my dresser was gone," he said, adding that a laptop computer also was missing.

The biggest loss was a lock box he kept in a closet in his home office, he said. It contained the Bible he carried to Vietnam when he was in the Army, a diary he kept there, his military dog tags and letters from his mother.

"I had my West Point class ring (in the box). I graduated in 1969, (and) that ring is gone," he said. "My mother's wedding band was in there."

Rucker also had copies of letters from Civil War ancestors in the box. On the closet floor, he found an empty holster and knew that two revolvers that belonged to Gen. Douglas MacArthur's personal doctor also had been stolen.

"These mementos, their street value is not great, but the value to me and my family is enormous," he said.

He has been working with police to try to solve the case and has distributed fliers offering a $3,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

Rucker said he also considered paying a ransom to the thieves to recover his mementos, but he said his ancestors wouldn't have approved of the idea.

"To give a ransom is encouraging somebody to steal things and try to sell it back," he said.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Fayetteville Police Department.

4 Comments

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  • TomLynda Aug 20, 7:22 p.m.

    The people who commit these type crimes are looking for drug money. They are always so spaced out there isn't a snowball chances that they will see these comments on the net and return the box with the items. I feel for this guys being a Vietnam Vet myself.

  • 1Moms_View Aug 19, 6:46 p.m.

    The worthless sorry excuses for people that stole these things should let him know where they dumped them. Maybe some haven't been totally ruined and he can recover them.

  • golonc Aug 19, 6:07 p.m.

    I hope somehow they see this story and will at least figure out a way to get that box back to him. It's not worth anything to anyone but that family. He won't ever see the laptop, change jar, or guns again, but please folks, return the file box. Mail it back to him with no return address, or drop it in his driveway or something, just give it back.

  • teacher-mom Aug 19, 5:30 p.m.

    I saw this on the news. This is sad. I cannot imagine how devestated this man is right now. Those items are not valuable to anyone except him and his family. I am sure the guns and his laptop will bring a little money. I hope they get the person responsible for this. The authorities will not do much to him. It costs more if you get a speeding ticket than it does if you break into someone's house.