Donations for charity among funds stolen from Fraternal Order of Eagles in Tooele

Posted at 9:50 PM, Oct 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-16 09:25:18-04

TOOELE, Utah -- Two break-ins and burglaries have happened in four months at the Fraternal Order of Eagles in Tooele.

The suspect went to the back of the building, climbed up onto a yellow container, pulled the metal security screen away from the window and broke the glass. Once inside, he went for the safe.

“It’s kind of the same MO really. They’ve gone the same way, same path. They went through the same window," said Jason Kerwood, President of the Tooele FOE Area 164 Chapter.

They caught the suspect on surveillance cameras, but he was disguised. Still, they think this very well could be the same suspect from the break-in four months ago.

He was wearing a mask, hat and gloves, causing the same damage between 6 and 6:30 a.m. Friday.

“The office to the hall had been rummaged through and ransacked,” Kerwood said.

Then the suspect took the safe outside. He smashed it on the ground in the corner of the baseball field next door and it popped open. He took about $3,700 from the safe, leaving $110 in quarters that burst open from the roll and onto the ground. More than $1,000 of the money in the safe was specifically meant for charity.

"The $500 that was taken from the rummage sale was to go to diabetes and some of that money was our heart fund money," explained secretary and trustee Kevin Denner.

The FOE is already preparing for another raffle, but they think it will take at least three months to make the money back. They are waiting to hear from their insurance adjuster.

“We’ve always been about the community," said John Daly, a trustee. "Our overhead costs are really high and so we just barely pay our overhead costs to make sure we give everything to charity.

Daly is a 30-year member of the Tooele Fire Department. He also worked for the sheriff's office and is a military veteran. He said the Fraternal Order of Eagles, which operates all over the United States, is a big supporter of people like him: veterans and first responders.

They also heavily support children and charities.

“That’s all they do," Kerwood said. "They give back everything they have to organizations so when that money leaves or when that money gets taken, it takes back from the community, not just us.”

Looking ahead, they have some repairs to do. The shattered window needs replacing and two doors need to be fixed, as well. They also plan to move the container away from the building and fix the security screen. Neighbors are helping keep an eye on the building, as well.

Police are still looking for the suspect. Anyone with information is asked to call Tooele Police Department.