Baldwin Park, California, certainly has some brazened, callous criminals in it. CBS Los Angeles has just reported that a “Baldwin Park American Legion post, an organization that helps veterans and their families” was broken into. A rifle rack and a safe were both taken in the heist. The safe stored money used for veterans and famililes who can’t afford Christmas gifts.
“It’s heartbreaking and devastating,” lamented Gail Pouliot, a volunteer. “And I think why would they do something like this? When all we’re here to do is help. To aid the veterans.” It was pure heartbreak as antique guns and a very old safe were taken, leaving many to ask who would do something so vile.
Thieves do steal guns… but these were old weapons, not something that could be easily carried on the street. However, to steal the safe, too, shows that the needs of others (even those who served) meant nothing to the culprits.
The door was rent from its hinges, totally broken down, and the suspects headed directly to the office, so they knew what they were doing. “This is where the safe was. A 1930 old antique safe. 600 pounds. They pulled it out of here,” Post Commander Rudy Avalar said. This was no easy task and not something is done in the heat of the moment without thinking who was being harmed.
The $3,000 that was inside of the safe was supposed to “pay for their veterans programs, feed community members and buy presents for kids who might not have a Christmas.” This crime, therefore, displayed a level of selfishness that almost defies reason.
“We have events such as 9/11, Thanksgiving, Christmas. And that was money for them,” added Avalar. “We have people stealing from vets.”
The building has served veterans in the area since 1961 and, now, even ownership deeds that were in the safe are missing along with the cash.
Also, “two authentic World War II rifles” were stolen, quite a vintage gun. Somehow, the criminals seem to have missed one more of the guns, for it was left behind.
The Post is open seven days a week to help “serve those who served, “CBS has said. Avalar is not about to allow the burglars to stop their noble work, however. “We’re still open for business. Not going to change anything. Might be a little tight but we’ll figure it out,” he said, determined.
Already, steps are being made to carry on. A vet offered to rehang the door that was ripped down and a pro-wrestling related event is taking place in the ballroom. The Post rents out the hall to make money for what they do, and they need the cash more than ever after the break-in.
With hindsight being painfully 20/20 in this case, Avalar declared, “One of the things we are gonna need now is a better security system.” Also, “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.” Everyone is being encouraged to help.
Meanwhile, somewhere in the San Gabriel Valley area, bandits are spending money meant to buy a poor child a toy from Santa or a Thanksgiving turkey for a family that may not have the money to get one. If there is any justice in the world, it can be hoped that the criminals don’t understand how rare the guns that they took really are, and get red-flagged when they try to move/sell them.
If so, a judge will certainly enjoy talking to them in court, that is for sure.