The Burn Pits 360 Warrior Support Center in Robstown just opened its doors three weeks ago as a haven for local veterans, but now the owners and volunteers feel heartbroken after someone broke into the center and stole some items over the weekend.
"This is where they broke into the center. So they broke in using a rock, and they damaged one of the center’s windows," volunteer Jenilee Latimer said.
She says that is how a thief snuck in just after midnight on Sunday and stole about a thousand dollars worth of Xbox equipment and controllers from the veterans recreation room.
"There’s nothing in there, they left it empty," said Rosie Torres, opening some Xbox packaging. Torres is the Burn Pits 360 Co-Founder and Executive Director
"Someone you know took it upon themselves to feel that they could just steal the things that belong to the veterans," she said.
The loss was a lot for the center, which got everything it has from hard work and from donations.
"We don’t have monthly recurring donations yet. We’re building towards that, but we don’t have that yet," Torres said.
Beyond the financial loss, their bigger concern is that someone thought to break into the brand new facility.
"Every sweat, tear, and minute that’s gone into this center has been from the veterans themselves," Torres said.
They say the thief’s actions hampered that hard work to create a haven for local veterans.
"Sad and disgusted that people would come and take things from these veterans. This is their go-to place, and so when then these things are taken from them, it’s sad," Latimer said.
Torres and Latimer say that a family member of the suspect has turned the stolen items over to the police department.
The veterans organization is now looking into getting a security system for the support center, but that will depend on whether they can get the funding for it.