Burglars Hit Vet’s Home 3 Times as He Fights for His Life in Hospital

April 10, 2019 Updated: April 10, 2019

A military veteran fighting for his life in a Massachusetts hospital has had his home ransacked three times while he’s been in a coma, according to a report.

Gene Rano, 68, of Marlborough, has been at the Massachusetts General Hospital since suffering severe burns on April 2, WCVB5 reported.

Meanwhile, brazen thieves have targeted the elderly man’s house three times, and it was all caught on surveillance cameras.

Rescued From Fire

Rano, a veteran of the Vietnam War with mobility issues, was burning brush and other debris at his property last week, CBS reported, when he accidentally fell into the fire.

A neighbor heard his cries for help and jumped to the rescue.

“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,” said Fernando Teodoro, according to the report.

Teodoro added, “I really saved that guy. If I took 2-3 minutes to get there, he would’ve been gone.”

Rano suffered burns to around 40 percent of his body. He was airlifted to the hospital, where his legs had to be amputated

“There was nothing they could do about the legs,” Nicholas Rano, the man’s son, told WCVB5. “They were so severely burned with third-degree burns, that in itself would kill him, so they had to be removed.”

Nicholas said his father remains in a medically-induced coma, unable to talk, fighting for his life.

“He’s breathing on his own,” Nicholas told the station. “He’s still living, and that’s enough for me.”

Brazen Break-ins

Since Rano was admitted to hospital, burglars have targeted his home on three separate occasions.

“To prey on someone that’s elderly and in a hospital, literally on their deathbed, it just raises the bar for the level of disgusting and inhumane people who are like this,” Nicholas told the news outlet.

Surveillance video showed thieves casually pulling into the yard, kicking down the front door, and then carrying a TV set down a wheelchair ramp.

Footage from inside showed burglars rummaging through Rano’s house, looking for items to steal.

‘See Something, Say Something’

Investigators are now making progress on identifying the burglars, according to WCVB5.

The Charlton Police Department, located about a half hour’s drive from Marlborough, urged the public to help catch the thieves by sharing any additional information they might have.

In a post on Facebook, Charlton PD said, “security cameras do help ruin everything.”

“After the media broadcasted Mr. Rano was in the hospital due to a tragic accident, these criminals decided to break into his home and steal from him. Let’s all vow to band together and watch out for our neighbors,” Charlton PD stated.

“As for these particular less than upstanding individuals, please contact the Marlborough Police Department if you have any information to assist in their investigation.”

Netizen Reactions

The Charlton PD post drew strong reactions from netizens.

Rob Kenyon wrote: “When these folks are caught – their community service should be to do this poor man’s landscaping, house maintenance and other chores that he won’t be able to do.”

Michael McGrath replied: “Rob, they should be made to do landscaping, house maintenance and other chores at the prison in which they are incarcerated.”

Others called the perpetrators “total scumbags” and “despicable human beings.”

According to Crime Reports, the Marlborough area saw 122 criminal incidents reported between March 27 and April 10, 2019.

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