Fair Oaks VFW Says ‘Low-life Scumbag’ Vandalized Their Property, Stole from Them

FAIR OAKS -- While many are honoring those who served this Veterans Day, one person took advantage of them Thursday morning, vandalizing property and stealing a lawn mower from a Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Fair Oaks.

Like most VFW posts, Post 6158 has patriotic images on its walls, as well as members, like Tina McCoy, who are proud of their service to their country.

"I started in 1987," McCoy, a VFW service officer, told FOX40. "Stopped doing the flight medic stuff after I got a brain and learned why am I jumping out of a perfectly good helicopter?"

The Fair Oaks VFW post says a man, who the VFW welcomed to stay with open arms, stole from them .

"And the low-life scumbag that took this and broke into a nonprofit veterans organization," McCoy said.

Post Cmdr. Mike Moore showed FOX40 where a $2,100 John Deere rider lawn mower was stolen from a back shed.

"You can see they just busted the locks completely off," Moore said.

The suspect, captured on surveillance video, was a man Moore knew well. He allowed him to stay there for several nights, rent free.

"I recognize him by his clothes, he had the same clothes on that he had when I evicted him," Moore said.

The VFW post is a cheap option for veterans who are down on their luck. It offers RV hookups, where they can connect their trailers to water and electricity. It is a relatively cheap option at only $20 a night.

"I says, 'Look, you've been here for two days," Moore said. "I said, 'I'm going to let those two days slide, but these next two days you're going to have to pay.' Two more days he didn't pay, so I went out to evict him."

That next morning, several of the sheds had been broken into and rifled through.

Originally, Moore, McCoy and several of the other members bought the lawn mower to save money.

"Because we could not afford, as a nonprofit, to continue to pay for $500 lawn service," McCoy said.

This Veterans Day, Moore and McCoy hope other VFW posts and veterans groups receive more respect than they did.

"You know, be aware," Moore said. "Don't take anyone for granted, like I did."

The Fair Oaks VFW says the suspect did show veterans papers, ones they now believe were faked.

The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department is investigating and the post commander says he gave detectives the suspect's license plate information.