By Bobby Sisk, WBZ-TV

UPTON (CBS) – At the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #5594, the honor system didn’t work as planned.

“We put up a sign and said $50 or best offer,” Commander Joseph McMahon said of donated exercise equipment he placed outside for sale. “I’m sure we would’ve taken whatever we could get for them, but we didn’t expect them to just disappear.”

Earlier this month, McMahon put four machines under the carport at the post on Milford Street. He’d placed a recliner there once before with a sign and sold it.

“I just expected someone to call and make an offer and tell me whatever piece they were interested in,” he said.

The items were stolen.

They were not chained down, but the vets didn’t think they needed to be.

“When they disappeared I presumed that someone else was contacted.”

“One was a gazelle, one was a stepper and the other was a bicycle,” Dave Kennedy said as he showed WBZ where the items were sitting, along with an abdominal and back machine. “It was either for the equipment and they’re selling it on Craigslist or they did it for the metal. It wasn’t much metal, though,” he said. The group hopes someone will see the equipment up for sale somewhere else and call police.

“It’s not right. Stealing is not right and it makes it even worse when it comes to stealing from the veterans,” Doug Keniston, a WWII and Korean War vet, said. The group is always trying to raise money to cover bills and help their community. “At the time we were trying to raise $8,000 to pay for our roof job,” he added.

“We try to help out as best we can and other organizations come to us to run their meetings down there and we don’t charge them for it because we like being a part of this community,” said McMahon. That’s one reason this theft hurts as badly as it does.

Upton Police are looking into the case.

Commander McMahon says he’ll be more cautious about what he leaves sitting outside.

“We had no reason to suspect anything would go wrong,” he said. “Coming to the news now, we just hope that someone would come forward and maybe it would be a mistake. But I don’t think so.”

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