MANTECA — Suspects have been caught on camera stealing from a Manteca Veterans of Foreign Wars hall.
Bill Canfield is the commander of VFW Post 6311.
“It’s a place where they can come talk to other veterans, associate, play pool, play cards. It’s just like a meeting place and it’s open every day for them,” Canfield said.
It’s home away from home for combat veterans.
“A lot of times we don’t talk to our families about what happened but here we can talk,” Canfield told FOX40.
Thursday, he was reviewing surveillance video and working on plans to up security after thieves targeted the post twice this week.
Early Sunday morning, surveillance cameras captured two people breaking in. One suspect jumped over the bar and both suspects headed straight to a safe underneath it.
The safe was bolted down, so the would-be burglars left empty-handed.
“It was just shocking that somebody broke into our facility,” Canfield said.
With the help of a $600 donation from a local business owner, the post repaired the smashed-in glass door.
Then, just three days later, Canfield said the same two suspects returned.
“I arrived down here and found the back door to be crashed opened,” he explained.
Security footage from Wednesday shows one suspect using an object to shatter the same glass back door.
Canfield said they blocked the doorway from inside, so they didn’t make it inside a second time, but the broken door needs to be repaired.
“It takes out of our budget. I mean, it’s an expense,” Canfield said. “The money we make, pretty much we turn back out somewhere either to veterans or to a lot of organizations that need help around the city.”
Canfield told FOX40 Thursday someone else dropped off a $500 check to help with repair costs again.
“It makes it nice. It shows that people still have interest in us veterans,” he said.
He said he’s thankful for the community’s support.
“Manteca is known as a patriotic city and this seemingly shows more. They’re coming to our aid,” Canfield said.
Manteca police say they are investigating both Sunday’s burglary and the vandalism from Wednesday.