FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --A night out took a terrible turn for a retired Los Banos officer. Thieves broke into his car at the Garth Brooks concert in Fresno and stole a K-9 vest from his trunk. The vest was supposed to be donated and now he's trying to get it back.
The first time we met Bill Westbrook and his best friend Maximus, they were fighting to stay together.
"He's family," he said.
They were also partners on the Los Banos K-9 unit until Bill injured his knee. He retired early and the community helped him raise $15,000 to take Max home, permanently.
"I will pay it forward," he said. "Many times over, hopefully."
Which brings us to why we're here. Bill had money left over and he used it to buy two stab and bullet-proof vests for police dogs in two small towns -- one in Neuman and one in Ceres.
"We want to put vests on all these dogs," Westbrook explained. "My dog had a vest and it was donated to him."
He would have donated them this week but one was stolen from the trunk of his car on Saturday night during the Garth Brooks concert at the Save Mart Center. Both just happened to be in there because he showed them to a friend the same day.
"It's disturbing," he said. "You never think you're going to be the victim and I really, honestly just want the vest back."
His gun and his wife's purse were also stolen. The missing vest was custom made for a K-9 cop named Dex. He's one of two dogs in the department without one and with a $1,200 price tag. His partner, Officer Coey Hensen said it'll be hard to replace.
"Kind of let down," he said. "I deal with these vehicle burglaries all the time and to have that feeling, that victim feeling is just not a good feeling."
Bill said he's hoping the person who stole it will see this story and give it back.
"They can call me, they can send me something on Facebook," he said. "They can leave it on a park bench, I'll come get it."
If not, he will find a way to get Dex a vest. Even if he has to raise the money on his own.
"I'm trying to fix this myself but if people want to help," Westbrook said. "It would be amazing."
For donation information see the Los Banos K9 Association on Facebook or go to http://losbanosk9.com/
P.O. BOX 93635 LOS BANOS