WEST COVINA (CBSLA.com) — A World War II veteran says thieves posing as subcontactors for Southern California Edison have walked away with some of his most prized possessions.
Police say the suspects knocked on the door of Bill Berger’s West Covina home May 30, stealing the 93-year-old’s safe from his master bedroom.
“It makes you kind of feel like you’re being violated,” Berger told CBS2/KCAL9.
“The thing that bothers me the most is the jewelry that was going to go to the girls,” he said.
Surveillance video shows the alleged burglary in progress.
Berger says a man and a woman came to his door, telling him they were sub-contractors with SoCal Edison and needed to run a line through his property.
He says he accompanied the woman to take a look in his backyard. While they were outside, video shows another accomplice pulling into the driveway.
The video ends as a man carries out a safe.
“They are out there. And they’re clever, and they’re fast,” Berger said.
It wasn’t until days later when the LAPD called to tell him that his safe had been found abandoned in Venice that Berger realized it was gone — along with his World War II memorabilia.
Berger, a Marine pilot who survived a crash landing on a deserted island in the South Pacific, says his late wife’s bracelet, her rings and a locket were also stolen.
“They took my wings and my dog tags and my bars and my ring,” he said.
Inside the deserted safe, the LAPD did find his discharge papers.
“They did leave that. That’s all they left,” Berger said.
Berger is now installing a security system. Prior to the incident, he said he went 93 years without one.