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Man arrested, suspected in thefts of Purple Hearts from late veteran’s home after trading one for a soda

Household items were taken and an ATV in a shed outside was stolen as well.
Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 5:47 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 4, 2021 at 4:54 PM EDT
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LENOIR, N.C. (WBTV) - Police have arrested a man suspected in the breaking into a home of a deceased veteran and burglary of his war medals.

Deputies say 31-year-old Charles Aaron Carr was initially wanted on charges of obtaining proper under false pretenses.

He is suspected of stealing two Purple Hearts, two Bronze Stars, and other items from the home. Detectives say he traded one of the Purple Hearts for a two-liter bottle of Code Red Mountain Dew.

That Purple Heart has been recovered but officials are still looking for another one plus the two bronze stars.

On Friday, Carr was caught after a tip led deputies to him. Carr is facing several unrelated charges as the medal theft investigation continues.

Daniel Laws spent two tours in Vietnam, according to his daughter Erica Laws. Erica Laws says 2020 was a tough year for her, fighting cancer, opening a business during the pandemic and more.

“It was a hard year,” she said.

The start of 2021 was looking better but a month ago she checked on her deceased father’s home and discovered someone had broken in.

“They ransacked the place,” she said.

Household items were taken and an ATV in a shed outside was stolen as well.

The loss of those items, though, paled in comparison to what else is now missing.

“My father’s war medals,” she said.

Daniel Laws was awarded two Purple Hearts for combat wounds and two Bronze Stars.

They were on a table in the house along with other memorabilia, including her dad’s ashes in an urn and flag.

The crook, she says, threw the flag on the floor, left the ashes, but took the medals and other memorabilia including a dummy grenade.

Detectives with the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office have been working the case and making some progress, they said, but still, need more information from the public.

The ATV is likely up for sale somewhere, they said, and if they could track that down, the other pieces to the puzzle in this case could fall into place.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office through Facebook or Crimestoppers at (828) 758-8300.

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