A Marine Corps family recently stationed in Southern California says they're living a nightmare after a thief took everything out of their truck and stole their car.
The family has been in the region for less than two weeks and in one night at a Murrieta-area hotel parking lot, everything they had was stolen.
"It definitely touches home. It's the biggest devastation ever," United States Marine Staff Sergeant Brandon Cooper said.
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Needless to say, the past two days have been rough for the Coopers.
Their transition took them from a four-year tour in Hawaii to Southern California. Cooper, his wife Sabrina, and their four children were looking for a home near Murrieta when a thief set them back. Sabrina says the hotel security video shows a man walking towards their Toyota Camry, that car backing up, and driving away.
"It's just one of those things that we were devastated. I don’t even know how to respond to it," Sabrina said.
Murrieta police won’t say if the man in the video is a suspect but they do say they’d like to speak with him. Cooper says the thief took off with all of his Marine uniforms, his medals from a career that includes a deployment to Afghanistan, and all of the family’s documents: marriage licenses, birth certificates, and social security cards.
"I would love to have our things back. I would love to have our vehicle back that we worked very hard to pay off," Cooper said.
Sabrina says someone also broke into their SUV and stole all the new items they bought for their new home, which they were supposed to move into Wednesday.
"This is the unexpected. We know this. Things happen, right? But in the same respect, something this devastating is very hard to come back from. We definitely weren’t expecting to come into California this way," Sabrina said.
The Coopers admit leaving their things in the cars was a mistake, but they say they were simply too exhausted from the move and house hunting to unload their cars.
The family has set up a GoFundMe to help with expenses. If you would like to donate to the GoFundMe, you may do so here. Please note that GoFundMe takes a percentage of funds raised in the form of platform and other fees.