City of Miami Police are searching for the person or people who, they said, broke into and ransacked the department’s youth center in the Little Haiti neighborhood before taking off with thousands of dollars in valuables.
Miami Police Officer Kenia Fallat said the perpetrators broke into the Miami Police Athletic League Center, located at 7200 NE 2nd Ave., inside the New Haven housing development, Thursday afternoon.
“Someone broke in and took everything,” said Fallat. “This hits home a little too hard, because how do you tell kids that they’re being deprived of what we were offering them?”
The facility is a safe place where police officers mentor and counsel inner city children.
Investigators said the subject or subjects jumped the metal fence, cut the surveillance camera cord, broke the lock, pried open the back door and got to work.
“They stole computers, TVs, all sorts of electronics. Their projects they had been working on, you can clearly see that they are destroyed,” said Fallat, “so there was someone out there, and their intention was not just to steal but to also destroy.”
Police called out the crooks on social media. A tweet posted by Miami Police Maj. Albert Guerra reads in part, “I want to thank the cowardly thieves that broke into our @MPD_PAL youth center in Little Haiti & stole several computers while also finding the time to ransack the place. Your actions have made the bond between this community & @MiamiPD that much stronger.”
Detectives said they are actively investigating this case, not just because a crime occurred, but because of who this crime affected.
“It hurts because I know that these kids look forward to going there,” said Fallat. “Imagine when those kids walk in, and we tried to clean it up as best that we could, but imagine when they walk in. They no longer have what they spent hours doing. It’s all gone.”
If you have any information on this burglary or the subject or subjects’ whereabouts, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward of up to $5,000.