Marion man gets father's WWII medals returned after being stolen - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Marion man gets father's WWII medals returned after being stolen

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MARION, Ill. -- Steven Duncan never thought a favor for a close friend would lead to him being conned, but he says that's what happened in late October. 

Duncan invited his friend's cousin, Gregory Worley, to stay with him for a week while visiting family in the area. He says the 26 year old seemed to be well-mannered, but about a month after Worley's visit, he realized items from his home had been stolen. 

Duncan went down to the basement and found that storage boxes containing his dad's (Robert) World War II memorabilia were open and his Navy Cross and sword, among other items, were gone.

"I was just horrified. I just couldn’t believe it," Duncan explains. "I couldn’t believe that he would do something like that because he seemed like such a nice, young fellow." 

Duncan immediately filed a report with the Marion Police Department. "I was hopeful, but I had no idea if I would ever get them back. I had no idea what he had done with them," he says.

Detective Carl Eggemeyer says he found that Worley had sold other items locally and tracked the suspect down near Lexington, Kentucky, "If we know where the suspect is from, we'll call pawn shops in-between here and where the suspect lives." 

Eggemeyer says Worley was able to get some money for the items but authorities were able reach the pawn shop before they were resold, "He wasn't able to get very much for these items. I'm actually very surprised that the pawn shop took the items." 

Eggemeyer adds that Worley will be charged for stealing the items in Illinois and charged for selling them in Kentucky, where he's currently in custody. 

Duncan is relieved the items were found not only because they family keepsakes but also because they are a part of American history, "To me, to not get those back, would have been a great loss."

During World War II, Robert was a distinguished pilot. He took out 13 enemy aircraft and destroyed a Japanese ship. His bravery earned him the distinction of a flying ace. 

"His whole career, meant a lot to him. He loved the Navy," Steven says. "He loved what he was doing during the war period, and he was good at it."

Robert was also aboard the USS Missouri when Japan surrendered to the U.S., which ended World War II. He then went on to serve in the Korean War.

Robert had a 26-year military career and was featured on the History Channel for his accomplishments.

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