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Veteran’s military medals stolen in storage unit burglary

CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- A local veteran is trying to pick up the pieces after his indoor storage unit was burglarized. His military medals were among the items stolen.

The veteran was storing his belongings in Centennial near his apartment complex. He thought he took the right measures, purchasing a heavy-duty lock, but said on Saturday he discovered someone cut the metal around it to steal his most important possessions.

“That’s me jumping from an airplane,” Charlie Phillips said. Iraq veteran, Charlie Phillips was a Paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne.

FOX31 “What made you want to be involved in the military?”
Phillips: “It was after 911. I wanted to serve my country.”

But the man who felt compelled to serve, is now devastated after someone broke into his storage unit. “I opened up the unit and I was like it was like my heart sank,” Phillips said. Inside his DTC storage unit off of Yosemite, he had military awards and medals.

“My medal from Iraq, Bronze star, Purple Heart. I had a gun in there, my passport is taken, all my medical paperwork, electronics, a watch,” Phillips said.
He also had hand-written letters from his late grandmother.

“My grandma she used to write me letters when she was in the hospital. It’s kind of what I would hold on to, like a memory of her, and that’s gone,” Phillips said.
This is not the first time Phillips has been a victim of crime, last year his car was one of several broken into in Lone Tree.

“My car was locked, and they actually smashed the rear window and grabbed a bunch of bags. I just got in from the airport to see my kids,” Phillips said.

The Problem Solvers went into DTC Self Storage to see what security measures they have in place. The general manager spoke off camera to say they have a gated code entry, an armed employee who patrols three times a day and stays over-night as well as multiple cameras.

They are actively investigating this. But for Phillips – he said it’s too late. His most precious military mementos are gone.

“It’s like my whole life has been taken from me. It needs to be rebuild and it’s going to take a long time,” Phillips said.

Phillips did not have insurance on his storage unit. He is regretting that decision now. “I didn’t get the insurance because I didn’t have the extra money with me paying for everything with the divorce,” Phillips said.

Now the facility is working with Arapahoe County Deputies to comb through the surveillance video in hopes of identifying a suspect.

If you have any information about this burglary, call Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP.

DTC Self Storage issued this statement:

At DTC Self Storage we proudly support our veterans, not only with discounts and courtesies but with the highest level of respect. We are actively investigating the claim of one of our customers who is also a veteran. We have security measures in place including upgraded video cameras, periodic security patrols and an On-Site Resident Manager.

The security of our customer’s possessions as well as the safety of our on-site resident manager are at the upmost importance to DTC Self Storage. This claim was presented after hours Saturday night and being that we're closed for business on Sunday our investigation of what took place is currently active and has not concluded.

We are going to do our best to cooperate with local authorities and our valued customer to determine exactly what happened with the unit in question. – Korey Hanson, President of Argus Professional Storage Management.

Charlie just created a Go Fund Me page.

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