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Burglars steal hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of equipment from community center

Pastor believes thieves had been to center before

SAN ANTONIO – After years of service to the community, Pastor Robert Cockfield isn’t too surprised by the bad things people can do, but this time, burglars targeted his center.

On Thursday morning, police called Cockfield to tell him his Get Up Community Center, off Binz Engleman Road and Interstate 35, had been burglarized. The front glass door was shattered.

“The type of stuff they have taken runs at about $160,000 to $200,000 dollars in equipment,” he said.

According to his unfinished estimate, thieves took 10 laptops; 4 desktops; 2 Apple products; 2 Windows-based products; recording equipment, including digital and analog equipment; musical instruments; cameras; televisions and projectors.

“We had got laptops and we're doing that for those that have been incarcerated or youth in trouble and teaching them A Plus, Net Plus, Security Plus (systems),” Cockfield said.

One of the items stolen should be easy to spot. It's a Yamaha Montage 8 88-Key Synthesizer, worth about $5,000. Cockfield said there are only about three in the city. Another big-ticket item was a $500 32-Track Digital Portastudio Recorder. 

Cockfield has been running the nonprofit center for about 10 years. The items purchased with money from donations made through the years. The center runs programs for seniors, music programs for youth, afterschool programs and a re-entry program for people released from prison. 

“I’m more hurt because of what the stuff is used for,” Cockfield said. “I don’t know what reason it was for them to do it, but I don’t think they realize the impact that it's having.”

The thieves also had time to get away with two pallets full of boxes of food.

“Everything we get, we pay for,” Cockfield said, looking over the pantry area that helps feed about 50,000 people a year. “We've been blessed that we never run out of anything,” he said, thanks to donations.

The music and recording programs have been canceled until the center can get some of the equipment back up and running.

Considering the the items the thieves took, Cockfield thinks they had been there before.

“Whoever came in here had to know we had that stuff,” he said.

The thieves tried to break in through a back door on the loading dock, but they failed and broke in through the front of the building, which faces I-35, instead.  Anyone with information is asked to call police at 210-224-7867.

Cockfield, who is retired from the military, sees this setback as a lost battle, but he said the war is not over.

Anyone who would like to help the center can click here.


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