Afghan veteran’s military pack stolen from Miami home

3 Jul

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By Elke Critchley, Bond University journalism student

A Gold Coast soldier who served his country in Afghanistan is devastated that his military pack – only issued to Diggers sent to the war – has been stolen from his Miami home.

Private Blake Critchley, 22, who served seven months of duty in the frontline in Afghanistan, said he was shocked someone had stolen his military equipment.

“I don’t know why someone would steal my gear, it is useless for anybody here,” Private Critchley said.

The pack was special as it is only issued to the soldiers who tour Afghanistan.

“The field backpack and Webber was speciality equipment I used while serving for my country,” said Pte Critchley.

“It may only get a few hundred dollars online, but the items stolen were of huge significance to me.”

The equipment was stolen from Pte Critchley’s family home in Miami, where he had been staying after his tour of duty.

Neighbour Nathan Kentwell said: “This is extremely disrespectful. Soldiers that fight for our country should come home to a safe environment, not have to worry about getting their equipment stolen.”

Mr Kentwell said it had not been the only robbery in the area.

“Our house was broken into earlier this year,” he said.

“They only took phones and cash, but it feels violating knowing strangers have been snooping through your home.”

Tthe Queensland Police website said there had been 127 offences in Miami since January this year, 54 of them for theft with only 11 of those solved.

To report a crime in your area contact your local police station or dial 000.

Caption: Private Blake Critchley (right) with a comrade on duty in Afghanistan

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