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“You feel so violated:” Van stolen from organization helping victims of human trafficking

MILWAUKEE -- A Milwaukee organization helping victims of human trafficking was ripped off . A van donated to the group last fall was stolen from the director's home.

Nancy Yarbrough-Banks, Fresh Start Learning

"You never think it's going to happen to you," said Nancy Yarbrough-Banks. "And you feel so violated."

Yarbrough-Banks has no choice but to keep working -- even though her organization was dealt a major set-back.

"We still have the keys! Me and my husband both have both keys," Yarbrough-Banks said.

But Yarbrough-Banks' company van is gone -- stolen around midnight Tuesday morning, August 1st near 40th and Brown in Milwaukee.

Van stolen from Fresh Start Learning

"Had to come to work this morning. The day still has to move forward; still need to get those purses to Meta House at 12 noon," Yarbrough-Banks said.

Yarbrough-Banks runs Fresh Start Learning, which, among other services, provides survivors of human trafficking and domestic violence with basic supplies delivered in donated purses.

"And those purses have toiletries in them with a handwritten letter of love and concern from someone who doesn't know them wishing them well," Yarbrough-Banks said.

Last November, Yarbrough-Banks was gifted the Dodge van from Zarate's Auto Sales in Caledonia. The van's purpose is to provide transportation for clients and deliver all the donations the organization puts together.

Fresh Start Learning

"Anything we need that van to be used for, to further them, to get the help they need, we used it for," Yarbrough-Banks said.

With care packages ready and bound for Milwaukee women's shelters, Yarbrough-Banks said her personal car will have to get the job done. She is hoping someone can help get her van back.

"Don't try and be a superhero. Call the local authorities. But whatever you do, do something. We need our van back," Yarbrough-Banks said.