Backhoe stolen from Spokane Valley veteran

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SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. -A Vietnam veteran is hoping to get his backhoe back after it was stolen on Sunday in broad daylight.

Sunday afternoon Geno Werner went to lunch with a friend on Memorial Day weekend. When the Navy veteran got home, he was shocked to see his camouflage backhoe that was parked on the street right next to his Spokane Valley home was missing.

"I was at a loss for words," Werner said.

A few houses down the street, the theft was caught on a neighbor's surveillance cameras.

"Three gentlemen, and I use that term loosely, hooked it up and within 11 minutes towed it down the street and were gone," Werner said.

Werner reported the theft of the 17,000-pound backhoe to Spokane Valley Police and had a friend post a picture online looking for anyone who may have seen it. He says he wants to see whoever did it get caught and would like to see them go to prison and not get a slap on the wrist.

He has a message Monday for the thieves.

"You're lucky that I haven't found you.  You better turn yourself in to the police before I do."

The backhoe is a 1980 John Deere painted camouflage. Anyone who has information about it is asked to call Spokane Valley Police at 509-477-3300.

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