On Monday, Youth Impact director Robb Hall discovered that several jerks used the Labor Day weekend to turn the at-risk youth center into a department store.
They broke through a fence, busted in a door and helped themselves. They cleaned out the office, lobby and bike shop. All the tools are gone, including expensive car tools that Robb's dad, who died last week, had donated.
Youth Impact teaches hundreds of kids to do well in school, take part in their community, build a better world and not be the kind of people who steal.
Bicycles give kids independence, freedom, pride and self-worth. I worked with the kids in that bike shop.
If you've ever said, "Why doesn't someone keep kids off drugs?" Robb is, and this burglary has put a serious crimp in his ability to do so.
He needs to replace a lot of stuff fast.
Computers. People who provide grants to Youth Impact require detailed records of all the kids in all the programs Robb works with. He was using PC-type computers.
Two-way radios. The thieves took eight Motorola Radius CP-200 units valued at $400 each. These units sync with the program's repeater and allow the club's vans to coordinate as they pick up kids at school and go to activities, so he needs that type again.
He also lost cameras, video recorders, software, a filing cabinet, a 2-gallon compressor, impact tools, saws, a document shredder and even the office safe.
Losing thousands of dollars in stuff on his tight budget hurts, but what has Robb bouncing between anger and sorrow is the realization that someone in the community he has spent his life working to improve would do this, most likely for a quick drug fix.
"It's the violation," he said. "You get this false sense of security. The kids come in here and they've never had to deal with anything like this, and we try to protect them from some of this," but obviously he can't protect them from it all.
If anyone can help, call Robb at 801-612-3001. The radios and office stuff are most critical, but he needs tools and other things to rebuild the bike shop and arts programs.
And, as if the burglary weren't bad enough ...
Youth Impact's back-door neighbor is Lindquist Field, where the Ogden Raptors play. Just as Robb was finishing talking to detectives about the robbery Monday, he became aware that there was batting practice next door.
"Someone hit a long ball, and it came right over the fence and smashed the windshield in one of our vans."
* SUPPORTING THE TROOPS: With Sunday's 9/11 observance, you may be wondering, "What can I do to help win the war on terror?"
One answer: Tampons.
State VFW Women's Auxiliary President Sherry Howland says female soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq could buy tampons in post exchanges, except medics buy them first. It seems small cotton tubes are ideal for plugging bullet wounds.
As a result, women often have to make do with old-style sanitary napkins (every woman I know, when told this, made an "Eew!" face). In Afghan heat, with few restrooms around, this is hard.
So the Utah VFW Women's Auxiliary sends packages of lotions, wipes, dry shampoo and tampons to female soldiers in Utah units deployed to combat zones.
Want to help? Take tampons, any kind, to VFW Post 1481 at 907 W. 12th St., Ogden. The post is open from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week. Cash donations also are appreciated.
Wasatch Rambler is the opinion of Charles Trentelman. You can call him at 801-625-4232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. He also blogs at www.standard.net.