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Surveillance video released following car theft at VA Hospital

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Surveillance video was released on Tuesday, March 19th after a decorated World War II veteran was victimized during an alleged car theft at the VA Hospital last week.

"When you see somebody taken advantage of, such as what we saw in the video, it's unsettling," U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Police Chief Tim Jantz said.

The surveillance video, taken on March 11th, shows Steve Rickun helping to wheel his 93-year-old father, a decorated World War II veteran, into Milwaukee's Zablocki VA Medical Center.

Seconds later, a man walks by the two, in the opposite direction. He is believed to be responsible for stealing Rickun's car and his father's walker, which was inside.

"When we returned after the doctor's appointment, we were told by the valet that our key was missing," Steve Rickun said.

As was the car, until Friday evening, after FOX6 News aired a story about the alleged theft.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Police Chief Tim Jantz says those tips led to the recovery of Rickun's car in Milwaukee on Friday night. The suspect, however, was not located until three days later -- when he returned to the VA Hospital.

"We were kinda surprised that he showed up," Chief Jantz said.

Chief Jantz says hospital valets recognized the man and contacted police.

"He ended up getting onto a County bus. We were able to stop the bus, and at that point, he was placed under arrest," Chief Jantz said.

Charges are expected to be filed Thursday.

"My hat's off to Channel 6 for first, broadcasting it, to the tipsters for coming forward and helping us identify the individual, to the valet service identifying the individual from the photographs that were distributed. It's great. I'm glad it worked out this way," Chief Jantz said.

Chief Jantz says the valet protocol at the VA Hospital has been reviewed and tightened.

In the meantime, Rickun says his dad's walker was never recovered, but he has a new one and is able to get around once again.

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