Mourning Merced family asks thief to return mementos of veteran father who died this weekend

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Vietnam veteran Lawrence Sarginson died Saturday, and his family says several mementos of him were stolen from their car just a few days later. (KFSN)

A family mourning their father is pleading for help after their final memories of him were stolen.

Lawrence Sarginson died Saturday, and his family says several mementos were stolen from their car just a few days later.

The Merced County Sheriff's Department says they're still looking into the incidents but no arrests have been made yet. The family said several items were stolen from the vehicle, but the only ones they want back are the last few memories of their father.

The Sarginson family should be planning a funeral for their father, but the family had to deal with a theft shortly after he died.

"It twists the knife a little, but more from what already is a difficult situation," Lawrence's son Kevin Sarginson said.

Kevin and his siblings say their dad had been dealing with a heart-related medical condition. He had surgery but died on Saturday from an infection.

The family returned home on Sunday, and they kept some sentimental items to remember their father by - notes in his writing, his drivers license, his military ID, and a lock of hair they took after he died.

But on Monday, it was all gone after someone had stolen the items from their car, and they say their mother was in tears.

"She was crying just like she did when he died," Larry said.

The family says it would take days to describe their dad. He was in the Army and hoped to be a pilot, but he was injured after a landmine exploded near him while serving in Vietnam.

Lawrence's family says he was compassionate, strong-willed, and they say his family meant more to him than the medals he earned.

"My dad was a beautiful man, and we're trying as hard as we can to smile," his son Kevin said.

The items taken have no monetary value, but, to the family, those mementos are priceless ones the family hopes to see again soon.

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