A disabled US Marine Corps veteran vacationing on Cape Cod found himself without money or identification Thursday night after being swindled by a man who had befriended his family at a Yarmouth water park, police said.
Community members, outraged about the theft, have offered money and support for combat veteran Robert M. Watson and his family during the investigation, Yarmouth police said.
Watson and his wife took their two young children to the Cape Cod Inflatable Park Wednesday, police said. It was there that family members realized that they were missing a bag holding their identification, bank cards, and Watson’s Veterans Affairs card.
The Watsons took their children down a water slide, leaving their belongings with the man for a few minutes. When they returned, he and their bag were gone.
A park worker who helped the family search for the man reported seeing said a heavyset man leaving the park with a bag that matched the description of the stolen item. The man had thanked Watson for his service, and his son had befriended Watson’s family, police said.
The park gave the family, who was staying at a hotel in Plymouth, $100 to cover food and gas for the night.
On Thursday, the Watsons received a donation from the US Marine Corporal Nicholas G. Xiarhos Memorial Fund at Citizens Bank in Yarmouth, police said. Several customers at the branch heard the story and gave to the family.
The Watsons were on vacation from Jacksonville, N.C. and were staying in Plymouth, police said. They will return home within the next few days. Yarmouth police are investigating the theft.