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CONROE, Texas -- He served his country for nine years, but this time, a U.S. Marine from Conroe was ready to open fire in his own backyard.

Sam Michaels awoke to the sound of his truck starting up last Friday night around 10:30 p.m.

Michaels looked down from his second story window and saw his truck backing up. He grabbed his 9 millimeter handgun and ran downstairs as quickly as he could.

Michaels chased after the truck, but the criminal sped out of the gated Conroe complex.

I m obviously trained around weapons. I m not just going to shoot blindly into something. I m going to see my target before I fire, Michaels said. If I would ve caught them then yeah, the scene would ve been different. He would ve been dead.

Michaels said the 2005 white Dodge Cummins Diesel meant a great deal to him and his wife.

The two love the truck so much they posed with it to celebrate their engagement. She was kind of our pride and joy, said wife Clarissa Michaels.

Sam Michaels recently returned home to his wife after training in Camp Pendleton. Through a number of trips away from home and three tours of duty in Iraq, the truck has been a symbol of everything they ve endured.

Michaels wants this criminal to know that he s lucky to have escaped with his life.

It s a big risk for them. Every time they steal a car, they are playing with life and death because they don t know who is on the other side and whose car they are stealing, Michaels said.

The truck was stolen near Wilson Road and I-45 in Conroe. The license plate is 58DVY8.

If you see it you re asked to call Conroe Police.

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