Bicycling Burglar Targets American Legion Post

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DURYEA, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — A local police department is trying to solve the case of a bicycling burglar.

An intruder on two wheels showed up at a local veterans service organization and stole money. As Eyewitness News Reporter Mark Hiller explains, it’s more than veterans who are victimized by the crime.

“I was kind of disgusted that somebody would do that to an American Legion,” said Leroy Webb.

Webb, the District Officer, Sons of the American Legion 12th District can barely contain his anger about the early Saturday morning burglary at Brennan Regan American Legion Post 585 — a place where veterans gather.

“They fought for this country. I mean they should be honoring them. They shouldn’t dishonor them. I mean there are guys in here that fought in World War II,” he added.

Surveillance cameras captured the crime as it was going down.

“They arrived on a bike, walking a bike and then they left riding that bike,” said Duryea Police Department Police Chief Nick Lohman said.

Lohman says the intruder gained access through a back door then got to work.

 “It was like a pry bar-type item that was used and a screwdriver that was used to rip the front of the cabinet off,” the chief told Eyewitness News.

After that, the burglar swiped a cash box containing an unspecified amount of money.

“It was from the night before from like the different functions that they do in there so I would imagine whatever, it’s a Friday night. Should be pretty decent,” said Chief Lohman,

Police are looking at multiple pieces of evidence the burglar left at the scene.

Police are also checking if a bicycle they recovered here in this alley is connected to the crime. They say it was recovered just behind this used car dealership where a catalytic converter was stolen just days before the break-in.

American Legion members like Ed Ameika didn’t want to talk specifics about the burglary but did say this: “It actually felt like I was violated as a whole in our club. Everybody in this club.”

And the community, too. American Legion Post 585 helps everyone from Little Leaguers to senior Meals on Wheels recipients.

 Ameika says “Something like this hurts” adding “They’re taking money from people that really need it.”

Duryea Police are working on getting surveillance video enhanced to share with the public. In the meantime, anyone with information about the burglary is urged to call police or 911.

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