San Antonio officer's diligence helps veteran get military medals back

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by MARVIN HURST

KENS 5 San Antonio

Posted on October 16, 2013 at 11:51 AM

A San Antonio police officer's diligence paid off for an elderly military veteran. The officer was able to track down some stolen medals and catch the suspect who allegedly stole them.

Jesse Vargas was arrested for burglary on Tuesday in connection to the case.

According to an arrest warrant, the 26-year-old suspect was spotted pushing a grocery cart on Commerce Street on Sept 24. The officer pulled the suspect over for being a traffic hazard and discovered engraved medals in the cart.

The arrest document  revealed Vargas claimed he found the military medals in a garbage dumpster. Vargas reportedly said he was going to sell them at a local antique shop.

Investigators said the officer recognized the name on the medals and continued to do research.

According to the arrest warrant,  the officer tracked down the 80-year-old victim. The officer realized a burglary had happened where the medals were taken on Sept 24.

Vargas, according to SAPD, had a history of burglaries.

Police said the officer found Vargas a week later. He reportedly confessed to the crime.

Vargas is also being held on evading charges and an immigration hold.

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