SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A local Naval officer is making a plea for tips after thieves made off with some priceless military heirlooms.
On Tuesday, Gervy Alota's wife called him after she returned to their home on Linbrook Drive.
"Just completely ransacked my house...my heart sunk," said Alota.
Since there were no clear signs of entry, Alota believes the thieves got in through the doggie door in the back of the home.
Among the missing items were several dozen collectible Jordan sneakers and about 15 pieces of jewelry, including Alota's class ring from the Naval Academy. He calls it a symbol of the start of his 20-year Navy career. A class ring belonging to his wife - also a graduate - was also stolen.
"It's a family heirloom. My daughter just got accepted to the Naval Academy, and she won't be able to see the class rings her Dad and Mom once wore," said Alota.
Perhaps the most painful loss is his cache of challenge coins. About 40 have vanished. The coins are hard-earned rewards from commanders for a job well-done. Among them was one handed to him by President Bill Clinton after Alota's Navy football team beat Army in 1997.
A neighbor's surveillance camera shows four young people near his home that afternoon. Alota says a neighbor saw one of them figure driving away in his minivan around 1:30 p.m. Alota's severely damaged minivan was found the same day in Point Loma.
If you have information on the case, call Crimestoppers at 888-580-8477.