CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — A veteran is asking for help in his search for justice after a special Purple Heart license plate was swiped right off of his vehicle in a Cranberry Township parking lot.
It happened back on July 11, just before 2 p.m., in the parking lot of the local Walmart.
“I think it’s frustrating, really, that somebody would take something that, I think, that myself and a lot of other veterans treat very seriously,” said veteran Ed Dice. “That stolen valor, so to speak.”
Dice is a veteran of the Air Force. His wife was driving their Jeep the day of the theft.
“My daughter and I went to Walmart just to do our regular grocery shopping. We were probably in there for about an hour, and when we came back out, when I started to load my groceries into the car, I immediately noticed the license plate was gone,” said Kristin Dice, Ed’s wife.
Dice was in the Air Force for 11 years and did five tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He served his country five years before he was wounded.
“In 2007, I was with a team in Iraq and the typical enemy contact back then was IEDs, explosive roadside bombs, that was set off on our convoy and I was injured through an explosion,” said Ed.
The Purple Heart is a badge of military merit, awarded to those wounded or killed while serving their country.
“It’s frustrating that people resort to theft and crime, and I hope that they are held accountable, but at the same time I hope they seek help and get their life back on track,” Ed said.
Cranberry Township Police have released a surveillance photo of the man they believe stole the license plate. He was seen in the Walmart parking lot near the couple’s vehicle.
The Purple Heart plate later turned up on a stolen car in Pittsburgh. The person driving the car was arrested; however, investigators say the man suspected of stealing the actual plate is still at large.
The Dices have since ordered a new Purple Heart license for their vehicle. The stolen one is now in police evidence.
If you recognize the man in the surveillance photo, you are asked to give Cranberry Township Police a call at 724-776-5180, or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.