BALDWIN PARK (CBSLA) — Thieves broke into a Baldwin Park American Legion post, an organization that helps veterans and their families. Those thieves cleared out a rifle rack and a safe.
“It’s heartbreaking and devastating,” said Gail Pouliot, a volunteer at the American Legion post. “And I think why would they do something like this? When all we’re here to do is help. To aid the veterans.”
Somebody broke in through a side door and headed straight to the office — breaking a door off its hinges to get in.
“This is where the safe was. A 1930 old antique safe. 600 pounds. They pulled it out of here,” said Post Commander Rudy Avalar.
Inside the safe was about $3,000. Money to pay for their veterans programs, feed community members and buy presents for kids who might not have a Christmas.
“We have events such as 9/11, Thanksgiving, Christmas. And that was money for them,” said Avalar.
Also in the safe were important documents. Deeds.
The post has served San Gabriel Valley veterans in the building since 1961.
The rifle rack is now empty. Vintage rifle collection wiped out. They got two authentic World War II rifles but somehow missed one.
“We have people stealing from vets,” said Avalar.
Seven nights a week the post is open to vets and their families. They serve those who served.
“We’re still open for business. Not going to change anything. Might be a little tight but we’ll figure it out,” said Avalar.
Thursday night, a veteran volunteered to re-hang the door to the office. And in the ballroom, a pro-wrestling show. The post rents out the room often to raise money for their veterans programs, which they need now more than ever.
“One of the things we are gonna need now is a better security system,” said Pouliot.
The American Legion post set up a GoFundMe page to help replace the stolen funds that were to be used for repairs to the building.