Wounded veteran's stolen work truck found

Truck has extensive damage
Posted at 6:52 PM, Oct 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-02 18:31:29-04

A major setback for a Purple Heart recipient and small business owner in Riverview. His work truck was stolen from his driveway between Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

At the time there was as much as $10,000 worth of equipment in the 2015 Ford F150 he uses for his window cleaning business. 

"Ladders, blowers, drills, squeegees, wet bars, a water fed pole system, that's very expensive." Richard Rogalinski said. "My wife came out with the dog, out the front door, that's when she noticed the truck was missing." 

Rogalinski co-owns the business with his wife. He is a one-man show in the field, where he does all of the manual labor.

Deputies found his truck on Sunday at a Brandon apartment complex. The new truck has extensive damage to the inside and out. Rims are damaged. There's a flat tire. There are scratches all around. The company logo was removed from the back windshield. The ladder rack on the back is broken and the truck will not start. About half of his work equipment was also missing.

His Ford truck is the only vehicle in the fleet. Rogalinski said he believes the doors on the truck were locked, but he left a set of keys inside the vehicle.

"I served with the 82nd Airborne as an Infantryman and served in Afghanistan in 2012." said Rogalinksi, who served as a sergeant. 

He pointed out awards displayed in shadowbox on his office wall.

"Canadian Jump Wings, American Jump Wings, Combat Infantry Badge, Purple Heart," Rogalinski said as he pointed to each medal and badge.

Rogalinski suffered traumatic brain injury from a mortar blast during that 2012 tour.

"I'm doing alright," Rogalinski said with a smile. "Still a struggle day to day, but you live with it, learn to live with it."

For Rogalinski, the best therapy for him is continuing to serve. Like the slogan on the back of his truck says, " Proudly Served Our County, Now Proudly Serving You."

Rogalinski is asking anyone with information about his truck to come forward.

19-year-old Jacoya Garbitt was arrested at a Tampa check cashing company for trying to cash one of his work checks he left in the truck. The truck thieves have not been arrested.

The cost to repair the damage to Rogalinski's truck is still being assessed. It's not clear how long the repairs will take.