Sgt. Robert Fearon was up in Tampa training to prepare for his fourth tour of duty in the Middle East last weekend, when burglars broke into his home stealing electronics, jewlrey and signed sports jerseys.
The Manatee County Sheriff's department is investigating the burglary but will likely have a hard time finding suspects unless witnesses come forward or the burglars try to pawn the stolen items.
Fearon, a single father, was in Tampa with his Army unit over the weekend when someone broke into his apartment at Vista at Palma Sola. His 15-month-old son was staying with his parents over the weekend.
When Fearon arrived home, his door was open and his house had been ransacked.
"The door was open and everything was gone," said Fearon, who leaves for his deployment in February.
The burglars took his 60-inch flat screen television, a 42-inch television that was mounted on his bedroom wall, his Play Station 3 and all of his games, an iPod, a Rolex and a collection of professional sports jerseys some of which were signed.
Fearon said he was grateful that they didn't take his son's toys or his set of golf clubs. He was also fortunate because he had taken his guns with him to Tampa over the weekend. Fearon, who is taking business classes — including macroeconomics and statistics — at USF was upset over the laptops because they contained his school work.He is borrowing a friend's laptop for the final week of classes.
Fearon, who estimates his loss at more than $15,000, called 9-1-1 right away, but the apartment may have been burglarized a day or two earlier. The Manatee County Sheriff's Office responded, but Fearon has no idea who would have burglarized his home. He said his was the only apartment burglarized and that he figures someone must have known he was away for the weekend.
He plans to go out this weekend to buy a television, but replacing everything will be difficult — especially the jerseys which he had been collecting for years. Fearon had worked on getting as many signed as possible. He would get signatures when he attended hockey, baseball or football games. He had also gotten some of his friends to get jerseys signed at games.
His favorite was a Winter Classic jersey with reindeers in the design and signed by Brad Richards of the New York Rangers. He said his family is from Long Island so most of his favorite signed jerseys were from New York teams.
Fearon hopes that someone who sees one of the jerseys or who knows something about the burglary will call the sheriff's department with information.