HESPERIA Joanna Murphy has many fond memories of her father, Ronald Toney, who passed away when she was 12. She remembers trips to the store to buy Slim Jims and to McDonald's for a Happy Meal.


However, one of the only physical things Murphy had left to remember her dad by were his Army dog tags and now those are gone.


As Murphy and her mother and daughter were visiting family members on Thanksgiving, thieves broke into their home and made off with several items including her father's dog tags.


When San Bernardino County Sheriff's Hesperia deputies arrived at her home, it was difficult for Murphy to explain what happened when she realized the keepsakes were gone.


"I cried for about 15 minutes when I realized those were missing," she said.


It doesn't appear the crooks purposely grabbed the tags, as Murphy explained they were attached to a television that was stolen.


Toney, a Vietnam veteran, spent nearly two decades in the Army, Murphy said. Records show Toney was a master sergeant when he retired. He is buried at Marion National Cemetery in Indiana.


Murphy knows little about Toney's military life but embraces Toney's legacy as her father.


"When he was in a good mood he was hilarious and funny," said the 37-year-old Hesperia woman. A father to three girls, Toney would play rough-and-tumble with his daughters.


"He made us all tomboys," Murphy laughed.


She also recalled a nickname Toney had for her: Weed.


"He used to call me weed because I grew really fast," she said. "He always called me weed."


While it was devastating to find many of Murphy's possessions including Christmas gifts, electronics and even clothing missing, the single mother is more concerned over the irreplaceable items the criminals stole.


"If I could get those items back, that's what I really want," she said. "They don't know how important those things are to me."


Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact the Hesperia station at (760) 947-1500 or call WeTip at (800) 78-CRIME.


Beatriz E. Valenzuela may be reached at (760) 951-6276 or at BValenzuela@VVDailyPress.com.