A local VFW post is struggling to stay open after being burglarized last week. was burglarized Friday morning and is now struggling to stay open.
The thief crawled in through an unlocked window at the post near 25th and Gilmore Lake Road around 2:30 Friday morning. The thief was only caught on one security camera after clipping the wires to two security cameras, the internet and cable.
Paul Weilandt with VFW Post 10727 told 6 News that the burglar broke open got away with cash from the safe, a pickle machine, a dart machine and the post's jukebox. "I would say in total, with all the in-cash machines, probably right around $3,500 to $5,000."
The burglary has left the VFW in a tight spot. Some employees are going unpaid for the time being and some functions of the post have been halted.
Weilandt said the post only has enough money left in the bank to stay open for two or three months without donations and without paying employees. "Everything goes toward building our money back, because we've lost everything. We've go one drawer that he did not get to, and that gave us enough money to open."
The veterans are worried they won't be able to continue serving the community. "There's going to be some Bellevue East and West high school students that are not going to get their scholarship because, hell, they took their scholarship. He took the scholarship money," Weilandt said.
The VFW does have a relief fund, but that would be used if there was a veteran in need that is unable to get basic necessities. "It's a slap in the face when we have a gentleman like him come and basically take away from the community. Not just the veterans, he took away from everybody else," Weilandt said.
There were fingerprints and a shoe print found outside the building on chairs the burglar used to climb in the window, but no word on any suspects yet.
The VFW has a GoFundMe page set up to help raise money. You can donate here.