ST. LOUIS — Anthony Dafflitto’s pickup truck was stolen and stripped Tuesday morning. His 2003 F-250 was parked in front of his home in the Princeton Heights neighborhood. Dafflitto said it was locked.
“He knew exactly what he was doing,” Dafflitto said.
Dafflitto said his girlfriend was up early and heard the thief drive off. His surveillance cameras captured video and pictures of a man walking through his yard. He posted them, along with a photo of his truck, on Facebook. Hours later, a St. Louis City worker spotted the truck, abandoned in North St. Louis City.
“Every single thing is gone out of there, tires, wheels, everything,” Dafflitto said. “They took it all.”
Dafflitto used the truck for work. His tools were stolen.
He also used it to haul a trailer for a non-profit, Fallen Hero’s Dream Ride, which benefits Gold Star families. It is an important cause for him.
“I spent eight years in the Marine Corps and I received the Purple Hearth in January 2011,” Dafflitto said. “One of my good friends was killed.”
Dafflitto’s truck had Purple Heart license plates. Thieves stripped those, too.
“Criminals don't care,” Dafflitto said. “He probably didn't know what the Purple Heart was, didn't care. He saw the truck and an opportunity and he took it. No regard.”
Residents in Princeton Heights have reported several thefts and break-ins in the last few weeks.
Kelsey Dacus said her Chrysler, which was parked in front of her home, was stolen over the weekend. She said she and her husband are diligent about locking their cars. There was no broken glass on the street, so she is not sure how the thieves got in.
“It's violating to think someone has my car,” Dacus said. “It doesn't help me sleep better at night, knowing my car is gone and other cars in the area are getting broken into,” Dacus said.