Nonprofit hit hard after thieves target community center twice

Burglars take mobile kitchen, thousands worth of technology

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SAN ANTONIO – A nonprofit is working hard to help a community center targeted by criminals for the second time.

The Get Up Community Center near Binz-Engleman Road and I-35 was burglarized a little over a month ago. Thieves took off with the mobile kitchen that feeds about 50,000 people a year.  

“It's a very large, self-contained kitchen, and it's just been upgraded. We spent in the neighborhood of about $25,000 to upgrade it,” said Robert Cockfield, with Get Up Community Center.

Around 6 p.m. Thursday, Cockfield said he found the gate at the center closed and the mobile kitchen was gone.

The thieves didn’t cut through the fence. They just disabled the latch, and part of it was left behind.

Police reports state that on Oct. 4, thieves stole $18,400 worth of technology from the center and shattered its front door.

“We're trying to recover to get that technology center back up by January, so we can start courses and classes,” Cockfield said.

The community center was created in 2007 to serve the city’s northeast corridor.

“Food pantry, seniors program, STREAM — which is science technology reading, engineering, arts and math — and a latchkey after-school program,” Cockfield said.

Criminals have again made it difficult for Cockfield to offer the majority of those services right before the holidays.

“This here is a lifeline of what we do every week,” Cockfield said.

Cockfield hopes the public will speak up if they see the mobile kitchen and report it to police.

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