Lawrence VFW post burglarized, ransacked

VFW burglary (WISH Photo/ Bennett Haeberle)

LAWRENCE, Ind. (WISH)  – Police in Lawrence say the VFW post was burglarized Thursday night.

The phone lines were cut, a door had pry marks from a crowbar, the office had been ransacked, and $8,000 was missing.

“Right now, we have no telephone, no internet,” Bruce Swenson told 24-Hour News 8.

It was not the type of phone call Swenson wanted to receive at 5 a.m. from his bar manager. But that’s how the quartermaster for VFW post in Lawrence learned there had been a burglary overnight and that thieves had stolen $8,000 in gambling funds and cash from a safe inside the veterans’ organization.

Swenson says the loss of the cash “will really hurt” the post that uses cash it acquires to help needy veterans run charity events and fund little league baseball teams.

Cash transactions from bar concessions and member dues are the organization’s primary source of revenue, Swenson said.

According to the police report, the custodian arrived at work early Friday and discovered the alarm system panel on the floor, which had even ripped off the wall.

The bar manager, Denise Hubbard, told police the alarm system had just been installed two weeks ago and that staff was having trouble setting it at night.

But Swenson says the alarm system was nullified when the suspects cut the phone lines on the east side of the building. Swenson said he presumes the suspects did that before using a crowbar to pry open another back door. From there, Swenson says the office was ransacked and the cash was stolen.

Patron Cindy Reed said, “It’s disappointing, it’s a great place for vets.”

No suspects have been named, but Swenson had some choice words for those responsible.

“I can’t say them on the air,” Swenson said.

Lawrence Police are investigating the incident. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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