When Marley Smith arrived at the San Lorenzo Family Help Center Wednesday morning, she thought that a co-worker might have dropped in early and left an inside door open.
Nothing seemed out of place, at first. Then Marley, the president of the nonprofit, found the back door wide open and noticed the center’s computer and printer were missing.
Smith said the burglary occurred sometime between Tuesday night and 7:30 a.m. Wednesday at the center, which is located at 100 Hacienda Ave. at Oromo Christ Lutheran Church. The unknown suspect forced the door open, damaging the locks and removed a window, Smith said.
While a couple stolen electronics may not be a huge loss to larger establishments, for the already cash-strapped nonprofit, the theft is crippling.
“This is devastating to the pantry,” Smith told Patch. “The computer is such an important tool for us. We have no insurance and the cost of repairing doors, locks, replacing computer and printer are a hardship at this time.”
The center has operated a local food pantry for the past 30 years, serving more than 1,200 families each month, according to Smith.
They don’t keep cash on site, only food, which comes from the Alameda County Food Bank and donations from stores, churches and generous individuals.
“I just don’t understand people who would break into a food pantry,” Smith said. “We’ve worked long and hard to get our computers up and going and they have made our interaction with our clients so much quicker and easier.”
Smith is asking for the community’s support in helping the center raise funds for a new computer.
Those who would like to contribute can contact the San Lorenzo Family Help Center at 510-278-2085.
For more information about the center, visit them on their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/SanLorenzoFamilyHelpCenter.