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Atascadero Police Officer returns historical heirlooms to owners

Posted at 11:37 PM, Sep 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-01 02:44:01-04

After responding to a storage unit that was suspected of containing stolen property, Atascadero Police Officers discovered an unexpected surprise.

Among the stolen property, they found a box containing several old photographs and letters written by a World War II soldier.

The soldier's name was John Lucas Sr. who served in the 144th Infantry Regiment. The letters had been written between 1940 and 1945 and they were sent to his wife Henrietta and son, John Jr, who were living in San Luis Obispo at the time.

The letters were of particular interest to Officer Kristian Wood, who is also a veteran of the U.S. Army. Taking it a step further, Officer Wood turned to the online veteran community to try and find any relatives of John Lucas Sr. The following day, he received contact information for Lawrence Lucas of San Luis Obispo, who was believed to be the son of John and Henrietta.

Officer Wood made contact with Lawrence who confirmed that he was in fact the son of John and Henrietta Lucas and that that John Sr., Henrietta and John, Jr. were all deceased. He was unaware of his father’s letters written during the war. Lawrence then arranged with his sister, Teresa, to meet with Officer Wood in San Luis Obispo.

Officer Wood was able to return the historical letters and heirlooms to them and said that the two siblings, "were amazed to learn the letters existed and had no idea how they left the control of their family."

The Atascadero Police Department gives recognition and thanks to Officer Kristian Wood for his dedication, diligence, and follow-though on this investigation.