CHANNELVIEW – Thieves targeted an American Legion post in Channelview three times in less than a week.
Among some of the items stolen were irreplaceable historic collectibles.
Eli Cedillo is the finance officer for the American Legion Post 644 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10462. Eli said both veterans service organizations, which share a building on Market Street, are suffering a financial loss following a string of burglaries that began on Dec. 4.
“Here on the floor, you can see where it was anchored down, and they literally pulled the whole safe,” said the Operation Desert Storm Veteran as he showed KPRC 2 some of the damage.
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office confirms the property was also burglarized on Dec. 6 and 7.
Eli said a side and back door were destroyed, food set aside for a veteran’s meal event was gone and two safes with large amounts of money were stolen.
“A lot of the monies that were in the safe were for scholarships that we were presenting,” Eli said.
Eli said the most valuable items, which include two Battleship USS Texas BB-35 planks dedicated to their organizations, are irreplaceable.
“One of our members had a sword that had USS Texas put on it,” he said. “And we had it all put on a shadow box.”
The thieves also damaged a music box and several dart machines looking for money. Lucas Wright, a veteran himself, worked Wednesday to repair them.
“It’s the small places like this that for some of us get us through. And for it just to be torn apart by people who obviously don’t care is saddening,” Wright said.
Veteran and Channelview ISD trustee Dennis Cedillo said he’s organizing a fundraiser to get the organization back on its mission to help the community.
“I really hope that they can possibly come back and possibly return the stuff they’ve actually stolen,” he said.
Eli said all of their cameras have been inoperable since the pandemic, but they’re planning to put some deterrents in place to prevent a fourth burglary.
“We’re strong, and we’re gonna come back. I just find it sad that anybody would target an organization whose members are trained in firearms,” he added.