MADERA COUNTY (KFSN) --Thieves stole tools and TVs from two non-profits in Madera County. The break-ins happened back to back last week at the American Legion Post 11 and the Grace Community Church which are about a mile apart.
David Cropper who is a veteran says the American Legion's locks weren't good enough to keep the burglars out but the alarm did its job.
"It scared them away," Cropper added, "otherwise, I think there would have been a lot more taken."
Before the thieves left, Cropper says they broke into the tool shed, a trailer and the cash register behind the bar. The back door was pried open, the shed was cleaned out and the fence had a big hole in it.
Cropper said, "they were in a hurry, they were moving fast."
All the gardening tools were taken along with some power tools and about $100 in cash - the change was left behind.
"They were just looking for quick things they could use to for quick cash," Cropper said.
The same night, around the same time, just down the street at the Grace Community Church, there was another break-in. Pastor Mark Lacaze believes it was the same people who ripped off the veterans.
Lacaze said, "everything was kind of turned upside down."
He says an amplifier was stolen, along with laptops and two TVs. A third one was broken after it was dropped and the thieves left it behind.
"Anger doesn't do any good, we forgive," Pastor Lacaze said, "Christ forgave us, so we forgive others when they sin against us."
Cropper added, "they're stealing from God and they're stealing from veterans...I think they're in trouble."
Cropper says it'll be tough to replace the tools. They were all donated to keep the grounds nice and it takes volunteers like him a lot of time to raise money.
Commander Norman Allinder, a fellow veteran said, "support is good but there's nothing wrong with writing a check."
Allinder donated $100 on behalf of Post 1981 VFW Madera, "that's something these folks could put to good use."
And he's hoping more people will do the same.