Thieves swipe $3,000 in Air Force uniforms, gear from SUV
(Victorville, Calif.) Daily Press
VICTORVILLE, Calif. -- The loss of approximately $3,000 worth of Air Force apparel stolen from a pickup truck put a damper on Christmas for one military family.
“Anyone who can steal from a person who is serving their country is awful,” Caye Ballard said. “Especially at Christmastime.”
Ballard called the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department after she discovered a small window on the passenger side of her son-in-law’s pickup truck was broken, and items were missing from the vehicle on Monday.
The items stolen — eight Air Force uniforms, a Gore-tex parka, dress shoes and military boots — belonged to Ballard’s son-in-law, Air Force TSgt. Craig St. George.
The vehicle, a 2011 Nissan Frontier, was parked outside Ballard’s home in the 14000 block of Choke Cherry Drive in Victorville while St. George flew home to Maryland on Dec. 20 to see his wife and sons.
St. George, a linguist, has been on active duty for 16 years and is currently stationed at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center in Monterey, where he is studying advanced Farsi.
“We hadn’t seen him for seven months,” his wife, Heidi St. George, said by phone. “We were looking forward to a nice Christmas with him home. This was just like a punch in the gut.”
St. George has spent much of his time off replacing the stolen items, missing out on some time with his two sons, Celton, 11 and Camden, 9.
“People don’t realize that the military doesn’t furnish these uniforms,” Heidi St. George said. “We will have to buy them and make sure his rank insignia and medals are all put on professionally. ... There was a period of time in this country when criminals wouldn’t take something that belonged to a person in the military. Apparently that time has passed.”
Anyone with information about the incident can call the Victorville Sheriff’s Station at 760-241-2911. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call the WeTip Hotline at 800-78-CRIME or go to www.wetip.com.