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NC soldier returns to burglarized home after helping with Florence relief efforts

Aviators with the North Carolina Detachment 1 Bravo Company, 2nd 151st Aviation Regiment conduct aerial search missions from a UH-72A Lakota Light Utility Helicopter, Sept. 17, 2018. The support and security crew scanned homes and structures for individuals in distress focusing efforts along the Cape Fear river including the North Carolina areas of New Bern, Wilmington, and Lumberton. (U.S. Army National Guard Photo by Sgt. Devon Bistarkey)
September 24, 2018

After spending 10 days helping victims that were ravaged by Hurricane Florence, a North Carolina National Guardsman returned to his home and discovered that he was the target of a home robbery.

Luis Ocampo, 24, a military medic, spent several days assisting with relief efforts in New Bern, after being placed in state active duty, Fox News reported.

Roughly 3,100 soldiers and airmen were mobilized for recovery efforts as Hurricane Florence caused flooding and damage to the state. The area of New Bern was particularly vulnerable to flooding as it is a lowland area, and had been hit hard by flood waters and wind damage.

When Ocampo got home to his uptown Charlotte residence, he found that he had been ransacked and many of his valuables had been taken.

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A large screen TV, a Sony PlayStation 4, a gun, and Ocampo’s laptop with all of his work for school, some specialty coins and jewelry had all been stolen, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said.

The police report stated that around $4,600 of items had been stolen. Thieves even took food right out of his refrigerator.

Thursday night, Ocampo’s girlfriend Kailey Finch and their 1-year-old son, who were staying with family while he was away, stopped by the house and everything was intact.

“I don’t know how people can be so terrible. If I was (to) do that to someone, I feel like I would feel really bad afterwards. I would be like, I see this family struggling and I just messed up their life even worse,” said Finch.

The robbery took place overnight and it is believed the thieves entered the home through a back window, WSOC-TV reported.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said the case is under investigation, but do not have any suspects yet.

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A woman who worked with Ocampo in the National Guard set up a GoFundMe page to help cover his losses. As of Monday, the page had raised three times its goal of $5,000 and was closed after nearly $15,000 was donated in 24 hours by around 400 people.

A post on the GoFundMe page said, “He did all he could to help those in a time of need and now he is the one in a time of need. Every penny could help himself, his girlfriend and their baby. Your generosity and willingness to help a soldier in need is simply amazing. We are so grateful for these donations beyond belief.”