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Thieves hit Salvation Army, steal bikes meant for needy kids in Alexandria

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Written By

Warren Hayes

Source: Town



Grinches didn’t steal Christmas, but they did steal 10 bicycles that were going to be Christmas presents for needy children in the Alexandria area.

“It’s a shame to steal from a place of worship, especially during the holiday season,” Salvation Army Maj. Ken Nelson said.

Nelson and fellow Salvation Army workers stood in near-disbelief in the Salvation Army Center for Worship and Service in Alexandria on Tuesday after the bicycles were stolen from the center.

The bicycles had been donated to be given to less-fortunate children as Christmas gifts.

The Salvation Army is using the center on Lee Street to store Christmas toys and other gifts. Entry was gained into the center after one of the center’s windows was broken.

“This is a place we use as a chapel for worship,” Nelson said. “Why people would want to steal from us, while we are doing God’s work by helping less fortunate people, makes no sense. It’s just sad to see.”

Nelson said he was notified by Alexandria police that the center had been burglarized.

“The police called us and told us that someone happened to see the window broken,” he said. “We received the call of the burglary around 6:30 a.m. The police don’t know what was used to break the window. We’ve had a window broken three or four times.”

“This is the first time that something was stolen.”

Salvation Army workers searched through names to see what children would not get bicycles that the Salvation Army planned to give them.

One room contained black bags, filled with toys and items, to be given to children and families through the Angel Tree program.

Another room contained toys to be given to children who were not “adopted” through the Angel Tree program.

Salvation Army Maj. LeeAnn Nelson, Ken Nelson’s wife, said the bicycles were purchased by donors.

“Each bike cost about $100. We start collecting toys at the end of September,” she said. “We will be helping 214 families, 750 kids and 53 senior (citizens). They probably used a tool to break the window. We didn’t see a brick or anything around used to break the window.”

LeeAnn Nelson said the gifts and other items will be given to families and seniors at the center, 1620 Lee St., from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday.

Glass Specialties Inc. in Alexandria will replace the window, she said.

“It’s going to cost about $900 to replace the window, and that’s not including tax and installation,” she said. “It will take three to four weeks to replace the window. The case had been turned over to the Alexandria Police’s detectives division. We will replace the bicycle for children with another gift.”

“The families didn’t know if their child would be receiving a bicycle,” so such a child won’t know that he or she had been scheduled to get a bike before the thefts.

LeeAnn Nelson said those interested in donating to the gift-giving project may contact the Salvation Army at (318) 442-0446.


Written by demon53

December 22, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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