A marine and disabled Vietnam veteran out with his grandson was robbed in broad daylight Monday near downtown Fresno.
But police were in the right place at the right time.
"I was going home with my grandson and this gentleman came up, asked me if I had any change. I said 'no' and he snatched my chain and my dog tags," said Anthony Garcia, a former marine and Vietnam veteran.
With one of his most valuable possessions in hand, Garcia says he saw the thief vanish around the corner.
But by chance, Garcia says he looked up and spotted a police officer.
Police say they chased down and arrested 19-year old Gary Ervin just a block away on Thesta and Belmont.
Police say they found Garcia's cross, dog tags and chain.
A pair of dog tags like those worn by Garcia cost around $7 at any army store. And if someone were to try and re-sell them, it's worth about half that. But for someone like Garcia, who fought and bled for his, the cost is priceless.
"You can't take advantage of people like that," Garcia said. "It's bad"
Garcia's dog tags are currently in police custody, being dusted for fingerprints, but they are expected to be returned to him within a few weeks.