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Thieves steal wounded soldier's pickup

Posted April 22, 2009

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— Thieves stole three vehicles from residents of the East Oaks subdivision early Tuesday, including a pickup truck owned by a wounded Iraq veteran.

Army Sgt. Ken Katter said the thieves apparently put his 1997 Ford F-250 into neutral and rolled it out of his driveway before making off with it.

Army Sgt. Ken Katter Veteran's beloved truck stolen

The family affectionately called the truck "the black beast," and Patti Katter said her children were distraught over the theft.

"My youngest daughter, Savannah, she started crying, and my son Hunter was really upset,” Patti Katter said.

Ken Katter served as a Marine and then worked as a police officer in Michigan before enlisting in the Army four years ago and moving to the Fort Bragg area.

He was wounded by a roadside bomb in Iraq two years ago and suffered a traumatic brain injury. Seizures have prevented him from driving his truck for the past year.

"I was hoping to drive it soon," he said. "My daughter was going to drive it this fall, and I was going to let her use it since I can't."

The Hoke County Sheriff's Office called the three vehicle thefts unusual, noting the neighborhood near Camden and Rockfish roads has Crime Watch signs clearly posted.

One of the vehicles was recovered, but investigators said it had been set on fire. They have no suspects in the thefts.

"Now I really know what it feels like to be a victim. It's really not a good feeling," Ken Katter said.

Patti Katter called the theft "a punch in the stomach" for her husband.

"My husband fought for the freedom even of thieves. So, these guys, whoever stole his truck, my husband fought for them," she said. "He was injured for them, and this is how he gets repaid."

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  • pattirenee Apr 23, 2009

    Its a Michigan license plate, but almost guarantee it has a stolen license plate on it by now....

  • FoxtrotUniformCharlieKiloakaCALM Apr 23, 2009

    it's lame anytime anyone steals something as expensive as a vehicle. ft bragg is surrounded by ghetto though, hate it for the soldiers that have to put up with such a crime ridden area of the state, they deserve better than that.

  • tootie Apr 23, 2009

    Man how do you take a man's truck, especially for all he's been through. God Bless and Thank you for your service. I didn't see did they list the License plate that would help also, I'll keep my eyes open it.

  • pattirenee Apr 23, 2009

    Wow, sorry about that grammar error... it should say, "state the description of the truck..." - not five? Opps!

  • pattirenee Apr 23, 2009

    Actually, if you watch the video - the soldier (my husband) does five the description of the truck...

    It would be great if it also had a description on the news story though...

    Here it is:

    1997 Ford, F250, Black, Diesel - 7.3 liter, Extended Cab, 4x4, Powerstroke, Grey interior, Heavy Duty. We only had liability since my husband could not drive it, it figures! We planned to have at least PLPD on it beginning in a month because our oldest daughter takes drivers training soon.

    It would be great to have our old truck back... so, if anyone sees it - PLEASE call 911... or the Hoke Country Sheriffs Dept.

  • parc Apr 23, 2009

    i bet some "truck " dealership will get him a new one for some free advertising....and he would deserve one, in fact all the wounded warriors would get a new one if it were up to me, at least they would not be sitting on the lots....

  • discowhale Apr 22, 2009

    Both my sons have been to Iraq, so I understand how dangerous it is. But what does this soldiers injury have to do with the theft?

    Would the theft have been OK, if it was a non-injured civilian? Was the truck stolen by Code Pink bullies, because of his service?

    Perhaps a FULL DESCRIPTION OF THE TRUCK would have been nice. Then we could all be looking for it.

    Sgt Katter, thanks for your service. I hope you get the truck back.