Tuesday, October 14, 2008



By MARK I. JOHNSON
Staff Writer

NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- Police are looking for vandals who broke into the American Legion Post here overnight and took an undisclosed amount of money.

In the process, police and post officials said, the burglar "trashed" the place.

"The damage is very significant," Post 17 finance officer Steven Sampson said Tuesday. "But we have no estimate (of the dollar value) until we have some people who know come in to look at it."

He said the burglar tossed around chairs, damaged walls and broke out a large window.

Neither police investigators nor Sampson would say how much money was stolen but police noted two video game machines were damaged in an attempt to get cash.

"I have been here seven years, and this is the first time to my knowledge the post has been broken into," Sampson said outside the West Canal Street building.

He said the post closed at 10:30 p.m. Monday, and the burglary was discovered by a cleaning woman at 4:30 a.m. Tuesday.

"She walked in, saw it, turned around, walked out and locked the door," Sampson said.