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Thieves pluck cash from Eagles

A local service organization is looking for answers after thieves stole thousands of dollars, most of which was to be split among a dozen charities.

The Exeter Eagles Lodge, located at 555 W. Visalia Road in Exeter, was robbed of nearly $28,000 during a burglary last week. Lt. Celis Rabena with the Exeter Police Department said the burglary happened in an 8.5- hour window between the Lodge’s closing time at 10 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 20 and when the Lodge re-opened at 6:30 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 21.

Rabena said the thief or thieves pried open the front glass doors before ripping security cameras out the ceiling and throwing them to the ground. The thieves then stole the entire security system, including the video recordings of the burglary. Rabena said the thieves pried open at least seven safes with about $27,000 and tore out and tore open an ATM machine at the Lodge containing a little more than $1,000. The thieves didn’t steal anything else, walking past flat screen TVs and a bar full of alcohol in the former bowling alley.

“They were only interested in one thing, the cash,” Rabena said.

The Eagles Lodge is officially known as the Eagles Lodge Aerie #3608. According to Fraternal Order of the Eagles national site, the service club holds fundraisers for eight major charities, including kidney, heart, diabetes, cancer and spinal cord injury funds, a children’s fund, memorial foundation and the Golden Eagle Fund. F.O.E. donates more than $100 million a year to local communities, fundraisers, charities and more. As part of its philosophy, the F.O.E. gives back 100% of monies raised in the form of grants. Calls to the Lodge were not returned as of press time.

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