The case was originally discovered wrapped in a blanket among other debris by CHP officers on eastbound Interstate 580, west of the Isabel Avenue exit in Livermore on Oct. 20.
"We found it on the 20th and we waited a while to give the family a chance to know that it was missing and since there were a couple of cars that were on the scene trying to retrieve some of the lost goods, we thought that those people that were out there would know that they lost something and they would call," Officer Tyler Hahn said, explaining why the department waited eight days before posting the tweet.
Hahn said that after several days passed, no one had called to claim the case, which prompted his office to seek the help of social media to find the family that the heirloom belonged to.
Hahn said that after the post was shared, Bay Area news outlets started reaching out to him and reporting about the story to help spread the word further.
By the next day, the family of the late veteran had been identified and CHP-Dublin tweeted an update.
"What a great ending to this story! After seeing media posts and broadcast on TV, this family has been reunited with their father's veteran memorial flag and case. We can't thank the television media outlets and those who spread the story on social media enough. THANK YOU!," the tweet read, accompanied by a photo of two officers with the family.
According to Hahn, the family told him that their phones had been "blowing up" on the evening of Oct. 28 with friends and family who recognized the case calling and texting to tell them that it was on the news.
Hahn said the display case was initially being transported on the back of a pickup truck in the midst of a family member's move from Castro Valley to Manteca and at some point during the drive, the case fell off the truck along with some other items.
CHP ultimately returned the case to some of the relatives in the family who live in Livermore. "It was good to see the community come together," Hahn said of the collective effort to find the family.
"The media can be used in so many different ways. There's a lot of negative things that can be put in the media and spread but then there's also a lot of good things too. So, this is a great way to show how the media can be used for good," he added.
Hahn said he did not know the name of the veteran whose photo was inside the case or which branch of the military he served in.
In other news
* Police arrested a San Francisco man hospitalized after allegedly crashing a stolen motorhome while trying to elude officers in San Ramon last week.
Eric Games, 42, faces charges of recklessly evading police, vehicle theft and possessing stolen property in connection with the San Ramon incident, as well as a no-bail warrant for alleged violations of the terms of his supervised release one day earlier from San Francisco County Sheriff's Office custody in two other pending criminal cases, according to police
The wreck, which saw the Fleetwood RV flipped onto its side across multiple lanes of Bollinger Canyon Road, closed a stretch of the major San Ramon thoroughfare for nearly nine hours.
The situation began unfolding at 7:42 p.m. Oct. 27 when San Ramon's automated license plate reader program alerted city police to a motorhome that confirmed to have been reported stolen out of San Francisco, according to San Ramon police Capt. Denton Carlson.
Within five minutes, San Ramon police officers located the motorhome on Bollinger Canyon Road and soon conducted a traffic stop in the area of Camassia Way and North Wedgewood Road, according to Carlson.
"The driver of the motorhome initially complied and stopped the motorhome. However, as officers were making initial contact, the driver fled," Carlson said. The officers pursued the RV for roughly two miles with lights and sirens blaring.
The motorhome, traveling west on Bollinger Canyon Road down the hill toward Alcosta Boulevard at 7:54 p.m., was swerving rapidly to try to avoid other vehicles while also entering the major intersection against a red light, according to Carlson.
The RV struck a car that was attempting to turn left onto eastbound Bollinger Canyon Road. "The motorhome and the suspect inside flipped onto its side and slid down Bollinger Canyon Road, coming to rest near Market Place," the captain said. The other driver was only minorly hurt.
Officers approached the motorhome but couldn't see the driver inside and were unsure if he had run away or was still in the wrecked RV. Police brought in an armored vehicle for public and officer safety during the search, and a Danville police drone team was called in to assist, according to Carlson.
"Officers flew a small drone inside the motorhome and saw someone inside, unresponsive and underneath a sofa," Carlson said. Police entered the RV and located the injured person, and San Ramon Valley Fire personnel extricated the man and transported him to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek for treatment.
Investigators determined the injured person was the sole occupant and driver during the police chase, later identifying him as Games, according to Carlson.
Games had been released from police custody in San Francisco on Oct. 26 in that county's supervised release program, Carlson said. Games had two pending criminal cases with a slew of charges including stolen property, drug possession with intent to sell, transporting a dangerous drug, vehicle theft, giving false identification to police and misdemeanor driving violations.
As a result of the San Ramon incident, San Francisco sheriff's officials have issued a no-bail warrant for Games' arrest.
After getting released from the hospital, Games was booked into the Martinez Detention Facility on the San Francisco warrant as well as suspicion of felony reckless evasion of police, vehicle theft, hit-and-run causing injury and possession of stolen property for the San Ramon incident, according to Carlson.
"Detectives from the San Ramon Police Department continue investigating this incident, and additional charges may be forthcoming pending an interior search of the motorhome," Carlson said. "The investigation surrounding the collision is being conducted by the Walnut Creek Police Department's Traffic Collision Investigation Unit."
Portions of Bollinger Canyon Road through the area were closed to traffic until just before 5 a.m. Oct. 28 amid the investigation and wreckage cleanup, police said.
-- Jeremy Walsh
This story contains 1154 words.
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