Burglars broke into the American Legion post near Auke Bay earlier this week, stealing electronics, appliances and part of the post’s USS Juneau memorial.
“They stole our two Toyo oil stoves, so we had no heat in the building. We had a big screen TV and they stole that,” said Dick Hand, a member of the American Legion and former post commander. “They took a full propane bottle that we use for doing our cooking with. They raided the refrigerator.”
According to Juneau Police Department Lt. Krag Campbell, the burglars appear to have broken in early Tuesday morning. Video surveillance recorded the suspects at the post, though the precise time of the entry is uncertain. Hand said that he believes they battered down the back door of the post using the propane tank they stole.
“We had a memorial for the USS Juneau,” Hand said. “We had a nice little memorial there, and they decided they needed it worse than we did.”
The USS Juneau, CL-52, was a light cruiser destroyed in 1942 during the campaign to take the island of Guadalcanal from the military of Imperial Japan during WWII.
“What amazes me is that people would steal something like that memorial,” Hand said.
JPD is investigating the burglary, Campbell said. The building’s physical security will need to be rethought, Hand said. Hand complimented the JPD for their speedy response to the crime.