FOUNTAIN VALLEY (CBSLA.com) — Memories of his beloved grandfather and the theft of irreplaceable keepsakes brought Army Sgt. First Class Jeremy Poirier to tears on Thursday.

“We moved from a three bedroom house to an apartment while I was on this assignment. You know, what if it was in a closet? What if it was in the car? Would it have been safer? And you just don’t know,” he said.

The Fountain Valley resident had a large plastic storage tub filled with family memorabilia stolen from a locker in the carport at his apartment complex, The Havens, sometime Tuesday.

“It looked like somebody had maybe used something to pry the bracket right out of the wood, the screws were ripped out, and the lock was still hanging still locked,”

Prized possessions such as Poirier’s grandfather’s military badges and medals from a career in the Air Force, Army, and Merchant Marines, as well as the flag that draped his coffin are gone.

“The flag was from my grandfather’s funeral and it was in a triangular bag, case, for us to basically encase later and hang on the wall handed down to my children, grandchildren, etc,” he said.

Poirier has spent the last few days searching dumpsters along Slater Avenue hoping the thief tossed the items.

He posted a message on Craigslist under “lost and found” and the Fountain Valley police are spreading the word about the missing treasures to local pawn shops.

“You know, I would like them back. They mean more to me than they will anyone,”

Poirier is being reassigned to Arizona in the coming days and would like nothing more than to have the precious mementos returned to him before he leaves Orange County.

Anyone with more information about the items is asked to contact the CBS Los Angeles newsroom.

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