Break-in's at American Legion Post in Fresno

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- American Legion Post 509, it's a place veterans come for events and to get support from fellow veterans.

Now, every time they come inside, they're worried they're going to be the victim of a crime.

The veteram post has had four car burglaries in the last two weeks. "When somebody breaks in like they broke in Monday night," legion member Ralph Racacho said. "You know that's unsettling for the people that's in here."

On Monday night three cars were broken into, and the week before, another car. One of the victims showed Action News some of the damage left behind.

Police said the crimes happened quickly. "All of those victims were in a meeting inside the building and came out and use the same mode of operation to get in the vehicles," Lt. Joe Gomez of the Fresno Police Department said. "They smashed out a rear passenger window to get in them."

The facility has a wrought iron fence surrounding it, but a side gate is left open until usually midnight. It's for patrons to come in and out. "The group from the VA they do our PTSD program here," Racacho said. "And different organizations use our building for different things."

What the vets here say they need is new lighting. Just a few lights over two parking rows are working. The rest have been disconnected or the wiring is faulty, and the non-profit doesn't have the money to fix them.

"If an electrician can come in and tell us what our problems are then we can probably go from there," says veteran Derek Hones. "But without that knowledge we're just shooting in the dark."

The veterans here also said a light hasn't been working since AT&T installed a new tower across the street.
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