|Updated: 10/08/2013 11:11 pm
||Published: 10/08/2013 10:43 pm
A veteran injured while serving in the Army has a message for thieves.
When his 2012 Can-Am Commander was stolen, he built a sign and planted it in his yard:
"Congratulations! For stealing a 2012 Can-Am Commander from a service-connected disabled veteran. Your family, friends and community are proud of you. But no worries, I forgive you."
The theft happened Friday morning in a neighborhood near Admiral Place and South Garnett Road.
"It just gave me something to focus on, I know at one point while I was thinking about it, I started to get really mad about it and it just gave me a way to vent it out and let it go," said veteran Karl Barfoot.
On Friday morning, when his wife left for work around 6 a.m., the yellow UTV was in the driveway. Barfoot said when left at 11 a.m. it was gone.
"Oh my God what do I do?” said Barfoot.
He called police and reported the theft.
"They [thieves] busted the lock off the tongue."
The grass is still smashed from where the thieves drove up onto the neighbor's lawn to steal the UTV.
"I only had it two weeks and one day," said Barfoot.
Not only was the UTV expensive -- he bought it for $9,300 -- but it was something for him and his wife.
"One of the best things about getting it is that it put a big smile on her face. She absolutely loved it," said Barfoot.
By Sunday, Barfoot said he had had it with the thieves.
"We've been joking around about things trying to get my mood back up from it because I was depressed from it," said Barfoot.
He was hurt during Operation Desert Storm with a back injury while serving in the Army. He was careful with his message and careful with his words.
“Congratulations, you stole from a disabled vet," said Barfoot. "It was just kind of a relief just getting it out of my system."
He spread his message on Craigslist and posted a picture of himself posing with the sign and pictures of the stolen UTV.
"At least there is something out there that will make someone take a second look at the parts they get."
Neighbors are stopping to read the sign.
"I've had people drive by stop and look and give a thumbs up," said Barfoot.
As FOX23 News spoke to the veteran, a neighbor stopped to help.
"I didn't see anything, I don't know anything I was just wondering what time," said Corey Edelman.
He said with too many thefts in the neighborhood, he put up surveillance cameras outside of his home.
"I can check and see if there is any [video] cause it points at the road where I can catch that whole intersection," said Edelman. "It's heartbreaking, it definitely is," said Edelman.
Barfoot said even if he doesn't get his UTV back, this is an opportunity for people to appreciate and honor veterans.
"A lot of veterans in the community have stuff like this happen to them and they don't have a voice, it helps put that out there too," said Barfoot.
Barfoot posted this message on Craigslist:
"Up to $1,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for stealing the 2012 Can-Am Commander 1000 and 5X10 Utility trailer with ramp from my East Tulsa home. The UTV has a D.E.S.S. ignition security system, is EXTREMELY hard to work around ignition to start it, and will not have keys available with it. VIN for the UTV has been registered stolen with Can-Am BRP North America, as well as added to the NCIC stolen vehicle Database. Those responsible may also be trying to part it out. Trailer has been retrofitted with a 2" hitch, grey, welded to black tongue, and led lights. UTV will have a 2 piece wind shield, bikini-style top, some scrapes on upper passenger roll cage, plastics; small bend in left rear wheel, Carlisle Black Rock Tires, Trail Armor Front A-arm Protectors, and power wiring for a winch (Blue, Yellow, Red, and Black Cables wired to relay located on passenger side under wheel well). Please contact Tulsa Police Department if you have found or suspect to have found this UTV. UTV belongs to a Service Connected Disabled Veteran.”
If you have any information call Crime Stoppers at 918-596-COPS (2677) or text a tip to “CRIMES” (274637) and begin your message with “TIP918” or you can submit a tip online at www.tipsubmit.com. Remember you never have to give your name and your tip could lead to a cash reward.