In Los Angeles robbery sinks to a new low:
A burglar stole tens of thousands of dollars Sunday from a Union Rescue Mission safe, money that homeless people had saved up from jobs they held outside the shelter, officials said. The thief then set a fire to cover his tracks.
The smoke forced the San Pedro Street mission’s 800 residents to evacuate about 4 a.m., when temperatures were in the low 40s. Sprinklers doused the fire, which damaged the second-floor offices. No one was injured.
Mission Chief Executive Andy Bales said the burglar broke into one of the offices and pried open the back of the large safe, scooping out the cash. The thief wrapped a shirt around a light bulb to start the fire, Bales said.
“That’s what bothers us the most, that he put the lives of all our guests at risk with the fire,” he said.
Los Angeles has one of the highest homeless populations in our country. It’s really sad that anyone would do this to people struggling to get back on their feet. On Thanksgiving Day my daughter and a neighbor spent the morning feeding the homeless here in L.A.. A lot of the folks she talked to that day were veterans, as a matter of fact, I reported here just a few weeks ago that one quarter of America’s homeless are veterans. We need to do more to get these people off the streets and we need to do more to ensure our veterans are not coming home ending up jobless and homeless.