MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- A Milwaukee youth center has been the target of burglars, and tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage and repairs is in its future. It has happened on three separate occasions, and those involved with the center say it's the children who ultimately lose out.
"They took a projector and five or six Chrome Books that the kids use for homework, the fixtures on the toilets to the fixtures on the sinks to all the copper piping throughout the entire basement," Pastor James Buske, the Executive Director for the Center said.
The Lighthouse Youth Center on Milwaukee's north side has seen better days.
"I'm assuming a group of guys came into our building and that's when they helped themselves," Buske said.
TVs were ripped from the walls, and computers, and video game systems were taken -- equipment valued at more than $6,000 -- in addition to copper piping.
"The value of what the plumber came through and gave the estimate is that it's about $80 of recyclable value," Buske said.
To repair and replace it will cost $11,000.
Officials believe the burglars accessed the youth center through the alley -- and burglaries occurred three times over a 10-day period.
"Everything that you see in this building has been done through volunteers and so they wrecked the work of volunteers and they hurt kids," Buske said.
On Wednesday, September 11th, Buske and his team planned for the cleanup.
"We look forward to opening this door so these kids have this safe haven for them to get help with their studies as well as coming into contact with positive Christian people," Buske said.
Although pain and frustration lingers, their faith is strong, and they plan to repair the damage. The center is looking for volunteers to help with the cleanup beginning on Thursday.
A fundraiser has already begun to replace the stolen materials.
If you would like to help, please CLICK HERE to visit the Lighthouse Youth Center's website.