Thief steals from 90-year-old WWII veteran on Memorial Day


by Kim Fields / KTVB

Posted on May 27, 2014 at 11:24 AM

IDAHO CITY -- A World War II veteran was taken aback Memorial Day after someone stole something very meaningful from him.

A thief took his only mode of transportation - a cherry red tricycle, was stolen from his front yard sometime Sunday night.

"Kind of a shock, you know," said WWII veteran John Turck.

Turck lives off Highway 21 in the small town of Idaho City in Boise County. He sat outside his home Monday afternoon, on the day we honor the men and women who died while serving in our armed forces, feeling a little discouraged.

"A heck of a Memorial Day for me," said Turck. "When I came out here this morning, I looked over and I said, 'Well, my trike's gone."

Turck's veteran brothers at the VFW Post 142 in Idaho City gave it to him last fall. They knew he had no other means of transportation.

"It stands out because I had snow-type tires put on the back end and it just stands out with those tires," said Turck.

Without the trike, Turck doesn't know what he'll do.

"My legs are bad, real bad," said Turck. "It's going to be tough.  It's going to be tough because my legs are no good.  I've overused them I guess during my lifetime."

That 90 year lifetime that includes defending our country in the U.S. Army. Before D-Day and Pearl Harbor, Turck fought in Alaska in The Forgotten War, possibly one of World War II's least-publicized combat zones. His job was to look for the enemy.

"You look for aircraft, bombers and such. We had search lights," said Turck.

Now, it's a different kind of enemy, a thief, that this World War II veteran is trying to overcome. 

"I'm frustrated," said Turck. "Yes, I'm a little bit angry to think that somebody would do something like that."

Idaho City Police said late Monday that they may have a lead in the case, and it's possible several youths were involved.  But an officer says even if the trike is recovered, it could be banged up and damaged quite a bit. 

The stolen trike is a cherry red Schwinn Tricycle. It has a rear basket with studded tires for winter use. If you have any information, contact Idaho City Police at (208) 392-4411.

If you'd like to help Turck, contact Terry Thomas at (208) 392-6059.