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Veteran's van raided: computer, rifle, work tools stolen

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) -- A veteran who served in Iraq says someone stole his van, ditched it a few blocks away and took off with his computer, rifle, camping gear and work tools.

Brett Harbour said he's been living in the van with his dog. He's a sculptor who can't work right now because the thief took his chisels, hammers and saws.

"I still kind of feel completely violated," Harbour said. "At least one person went through not only my vehicle, but what's been my home for the last year."

Harbour said he was with his dog watching a friend's home Saturday night into Sunday when someone broke the window and stole the van. He found the van raided Sunday afternoon with a damaged ignition. Police have not announced any suspects.

"I just wish they would understand that this kind of a petty crime, the effect that it has on the person they're stealing from," Harbour said.

Harbour's main source of income is his art and he has struggled to find a steady job. He graduated from IU's Herron School of Art and Design in 2012, a few years after serving in Iraq with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, according to a 2013 press release from IUPUI about Harbour's art.

"Affording things like rent is kind of out of the question," Harbour said.

He said he's been traveling the country in his van over the past year, which helps him cope with his PTSD and anxiety.

"It helps me just relax a little bit more, but I also was looking at work opportunities," Harbour said.

Square Cat Vinyl owner Mike Angel launched an online fundraiser Tuesday for Harbour. He describes Harbour as a great guy who's never wronged anyone in Fountain Square.

"It's not really fair for somebody like that to have to go through such a hard time, and we just want him to know that his friends love him and we're out here doing something for him," Angel said.

Harbour is searching local pawn shops for his Macbook Pro or his long rifle. He said the thief also took his camping gear and some tools that were passed down from his great grandfather.

His art, including a bronze plaque in the Statehouse, is on display across Indianapolis.

Harbour suspects the thief broke his window and started the van with a screwdriver.


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