Man Who Claims to be a Veteran Steals from American Legion-- on the 4th of July!

September 27, 2013 Updated Jul 6, 2010 at 5:46 PM EDT

By Patrick Taney

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September 27, 2013 Updated Jul 6, 2010 at 5:46 PM EDT

Niagara Falls, N.Y. (WKBW-TV) - It was the 4th of July and at the American Legion Post 1664 on East Market Street in Niagara Falls-- Local Veterans and their families were celebrating.

Then, shortly before midnight, in came the mystery man.

He claimed he was a war veteran.

He said he had been injured and "heckled" by passer-byes upon his return.

"The minute he walked in, he started crying the blues, telling me he just returned from battle in Afghanistan. He showed us scars on his face. He was really pulling at the heart strings." Said Joseph Rizzotto, the Post's Commander and bartender that night.

But this mystery man was after more than just finding new friends.

He first reached into a donation jar. He then-- grabbed a handful of cash-- not once, but twice--- from the register-- placed on the bar during closing time. He then walks out the door.

Rizzotto caught on to the man's game after his second swipe-- followed him out-- even chased him with his car. But the suspect got away, with more than $100. Money, Rizzotto, who is a Vietnam Veteran, replaced from his own pocket.

The whole scene was captured by surveillance cameras inside the establishment. Police and local Veterans now asking for your help to track down this suspect.

Click on the video link to watch our story.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Niagara Falls Police Dept. 286-4553.