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.”
This undated photograph shows the the USS Juneau memorial items that were on display at the American Legion Auke Bay Post #25. The long strand of beads represented those immediately killed during the torpedoing and sinking of the ship, another strand represented those who were alive and in the water, and the short strand represented those who were rescued from the water days later. The final few beads in the glass dome represented those who were still living at the time of the 75th anniversary presentation. (Courtesy photo | American Legion Auke Bay Post #25)
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.
This Oct. 25, 1941 shows the USS Juneau afloat just after being launched at the Federal Shipbuilding Company yard,in Kearny, N.J. The ship was cut in half by two torpedoes and sank in 30 seconds during the Battle of Guadalcanal in 1942, sending 687 men including the five Sullivan brothers from Waterloo, Iowa, to their watery graves. (U.S. National Archives via The Associated Press)
This Feb. 14, 1942 photo shows the five Sullivan brothers on board USS Juneau (CL-52) at the time of her commissioning ceremonies at the New York Navy Yard. The brothers who were all killed in the World War II sinking of the USS Juneau on Nov. 13, 1942. From left to right: Joseph, Francis, Albert, Madison and George Sullivan. (U.S. National Archives via The Associated Press)
“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.