CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — On Sunday afternoon, a board member for Special Hearts in the Arts went to the office, and noticed something out of place. After looking around more closely, she realized the building had been broken into.
A few things were taken from the building: electronics, including a television, computers, and a speaker the non-profit uses for performances, as well as some instruments.
“Everything that was taken, they weren’t huge ticket items, but they were definitely useful to us and things that we utilized on a regular basis,” said Idali Duarte-Montes, the COO of Special Hearts in the Arts. “So, it’s something that hurt.”
Additionally, the person(s) took a spare key to the building, one that could open every door on the exterior of the building.
“So, we had to change every dead bolt in the building, there are several upstairs, and several down here,” Duarte-Montes said. “We did that that night, to hopefully avoid anybody coming back, although we do think it’s possible someone came back the following day, because things were moved outside the building.”
The Corpus Christi Police Department is investigating the break-in, but does not have any leads, including if the break-in was perpetrated by one person or multiple.
Special Hearts in the Arts does not have security cameras. The non-profit is in the process of looking for a new home.
“Those types of upgrades, we had already intended to do in the new place that we’re moving to, but we did not do it here yet,” Duarte-Montes said. “So, because of that, we do not have any camera footage or anything like that.”
News of the break-in hit some of the Special Hearts hard.
“I heard it [Tuesday] from my sister, and I just broke down,” said Analisa Valdez. “I just freaked out and got scared.”
“For them to do this to us, it’s heartbreaking,” said Krystal Salinas. “Special Hearts is our home. This is where we come to be a family, we get together as friends, we have fun. For them to break into our building and steal stuff is kind of heartbreaking, but we’re going to get through it.”
Salinas has questions for the person(s) who did this.
“Why would they do this to us? Why would they steal from special needs kids like us? Why would they want to steal from a group like this?” she asked.
Anyone with any information on the break-in is asked to call CCPD crime stoppers at 361-886-2840, or the anonymous tip line at 361-888-TIPS (8477).
Anyone interested in helping out the non-profit can call 361-774-0033.