Memorial plaques have been stolen from a wall of honor outside a V.F.W. Post in Morningside, Maryland located near Andrews Air Force Base.
The VFW Post is located near Andrews Air Force Base. Years ago they had 2,000 members. But the Veterans group has seen its numbers dwindle to about 700 now. When a member dies, their name is added to the memorial in front of the Post on Suitland Road. Thieves hit one night during the first week of January.
The bronze plaques have been stripped and stolen from the Memorial wall outside the V.F.W. Post on Suitland Road. Now the brick memorial is bare.
Five plaques were pried from the wall by the thieves. Five others which the thieves left behind have been taken into the Post for safe keeping. Each plaque contains 120 names of V.F.W. members who have died since the 1950s.
Post Commander James Holland said, "Damage is around 65 to 75 thousand dollars."
Because they don't have a master list, he said, "There's no way to replace all of that information and everything."
Three state commanders came from this post. Their names were on the stolen memorial plaques, along with 600 other members whose names may be impossible to recover. Names of friends, veterans who served their county in foreign wars.
Victor Jakubowski, a V.F.W. Post member says he's upset that, "someone would have the gall to do that to Veterans who served their country."
A group of Veterans from the Post canvassed areas salvage yards and found that the suspects may have taken the stolen memorials to one located in Washington, D.C.
The man who runs the weigh scale said, "they showed up with bronze plaques. I asked for identification. They asked why. I told them I can't buy this. They left."
It's illegal for salvage yards to buy bronze or other heavy metal monuments.
The final irony is that although the plaques are valued at $60,000 and are regarded as irreplaceable by the V.F.W. Post, they would bring a very low price if the thieves could find a buyer.
As scrap they are worth no more than $700 - $800, at $1.45 a pound.