ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – An Albuquerque nonprofit organization is the latest victim of theft. Youth Development Incorporated or YDI was robbed last weekend. Now they are asking the public for help in tracking down the thieves.
“Being an agency that helps families and children and our staff that works with children, they just can’t believe this has happened to us, you know, and this way,” says Robert Chavez.
Robert Chavez is the CEO of Youth Development Inc. located on Candelaria and Carlisle. They offer services such as homelessness assistance, violence prevention, and mentoring.
He said he was still in shock after three thieves broke into their youth center last weekend. Surveillance video showed when the suspects approached the building and picked the locks before going inside. A man then used a knife to cut the wires of the security system. They then took off in a blue sedan. Chavez says the burglary angered him because the organization is meant to serve the community.
“If these people had come to ask for help, we would have helped them. Instead, they chose to rob us and our youth and the families we serve,” Chavez says.
Thieves stole keyboards, amplifiers and projectors. Chavez said the equipment was used during their poetry readings for their youth and family groups. Chavez said they will now have to work on fundraising to try to replace their items to continue providing the same level of service, but he says despite what has happened he has ‘hope’ that they will be fine.
“We’re going to get through this, you know, hardworking staff who are committed to serving families and children, we’re going to continue to have the resources to serve them. So we’re going to work on it, we’ll learn from it, strengthen our security processes,” Chavez said.
The Youth Center said it would increase security patrols. Anyone with information about the thieves is asked to contact the Albuquerque Police Department.