Letterman jacket with military veteran patches stolen, its owner desperate to find it


A car burglary is the River Park area resulted in Mitchell Tatarakis and his girlfriend losing a couple pairs of shoes. However, the loss that hurt the most, was his letterman jacket from Firebaugh High School. The jacket had a couple of American flag patches, a gift from his grandfather, who served in the Vietnam War.

Tatarakis was alerted to the break-in Tuesday morning, around 9 a.m. or 10 a.m., when his girlfriend told him his doors and truck were open in its parking space. By the time he got to his car, his prized possession was long gone.

“I just wish they would have taken my boards, my helmet, or cleats,” he said. “They just took the thing I love the most.”

Some time between the moment he parked his car Monday night to the following morning, someone raided his car. While several things were taken, the letterman jacket hit the hardest.

It showcased some of his greatest high school accomplishments, having patches from his time in varsity football and his success in Valley Championships.

But nothing compared to the American flag patches on the jacket. They were given to him by his grandfather, Mike Tatarakis. He carried the patches during his time in service during the Vietnam War.

“He’s one of my best friends,” Mitchell said of his grandfather. “He’s always there for me. I call him, he’s always there. I love him.”

This is the first time his car has been broken into, something he didn’t think would happen since he lives in a gated community with security.

He put a call out on Twitter to try and find his jacket, his original Tweet has been retweeted hundreds of times already.

In the event the thief, or thieves, watch or read this story, Mitchell has a message, “I’ll offer them something better in return. I’ll buy them another jacket if I have to.”

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said as we get into the holiday season, vehicle burglaries like this tend to rise. Always important to be careful of what you leave in your car.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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