Unbelievable CCTV footage captured thieves robbing a veteran’s house while he lay fighting for life hospital.
68-year-old Gene Rano, from Marlborough, Massachusetts, was burning brush and other debris at his property on April 2. He has mobility issues, and accidentally fell into the fire.
A neighbour heard the veteran’s cries for help and came to the rescue, but the 68-year-old suffered burns to around 40 per cent of his body. He was airlifted to the hospital, where his legs had to be amputated and he was placed in a medically-induced coma, WCBV5 reported, as per The Epoch Times.
Meanwhile, heartless thieves have broken into Rano’s house three times, according to his family.
CCTV footage shows a brazen pair walking out of the veteran’s house with a TV in hand:
— John Atwater (@AtwaterWCVB) April 10, 2019
Neighbour Fernando Teodoro spoke to CBS about rescuing Rano, recalling:
I pulled him out of the fire and it was kind of burning my hand because his jacket was on fire. His leg was all nude already – peeling off.
He looked at me, ‘Help! I fell. I’m dying!’ I’m like, Jesus, I wasn’t calm. I was actually very nervous.
I really saved that guy. If I took 2-3 minutes to get there, he would’ve been gone.
The blaze spread from Rano’s yard to a neighbor’s fence, with smoke billowing out of the barrel.
Marlborough’s fire chief revealed Rano’s fire was illegal, CBS report. The chief is reminding residents to ensure they go about having fires the right way; by obtaining a permit and burning cautiously.
Unbelievably, this is the second time in two years the veteran has been robbed while in hospital. In 2017, his house was broken into when he had to undergo emergency surgery.
The thief stole two laptops, a desktop computer, a television, jewelry and a home safe containing $5,000
Speaking to CBS at the time, Rano said:
Other than being violated what’s going through my mind? I hope the good lord catches up to them before I do.
How can someone be that low to rob an elderly disabled veteran?
It’s so devastating. My life was in those computers. Photos of my children and my grandchildren.
Following the incident in 2017, Rano planned to install a high-tech security system with multiple cameras. It’s possible those very cameras were the ones to capture the more recent robbery.
The 68-year-old is currently fighting for his life in hospital.
Hopefully the thieves will be caught. Our thoughts are with Rano, his friends and family at this tough time.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.