NORTH FULTON COUNTY, Ga. - They display their love for the country proudly, and in return become victims.
There is a lot of frustration and disbelief from veterans who say they parked at a MARTA station overnight and came back to find their cars damaged.
“I think everyone in America should be proud of veterans,” said Army veteran Stephen Phillips.
Every time that Phillips gets in his truck to go somewhere, his support for the military goes with him.
“I served, my son is serving, and you know, I’m proud of that,” Phillips said.
The eight-year Army veteran has stickers everywhere. Now he believes his service made him a target for thieves.
“I was not a target of some random act, it was because I was a veteran,” Phillips said.
Phillips’ truck was one of five that thieves smashed their way into at the North Springs MARTA station last Monday.
Another victim posted a picture on social media and said his car had veteran license plates.
Phillips says the MARTA police officer he spoke to said this was no coincidence.
“Now a group is targeting veterans because they believe we arm ourselves, we would have some type of weapon in our vehicles,” Phillips said.
And inside of his truck and under the seat was a gun that he accidentally brought with him.
“I made the mistake of leaving it in my vehicle, did have to fly out, so couldn’t take it to the airport, figured it was safe in the car at MARTA,” Phillips said.
Now his gun is in the hands of thieves and Phillips worries it could be used to find more victims.
“It really bothers me,” Phillips said. “I think it’s very poor taste to go after veterans.”
Channel 2’s Matt Johnson checked with MARTA police, who said they are investigating and are not willing to say yet whether the veterans' vehicles were targeted intentionally.
MARTA police also saying they want people to keep valuables out of public view.
© 2019 Cox Media Group.