CREATED Sep. 9, 2013
MILWAUKEE - There were no kids at Lighthouse Youth Center at North 25th Street and West Roosevelt Drive on Monday. A string of burglaries forced the staff to temporarily close the the program. Thieves stole so many copper pipes that the plumbing system is destroyed.
Pastor James Buske told TODAY'S TMJ4 reporter Tom Murray that the thieves hit three times in a matter of days.
Burglars also stole several flat screen televisions from the lounge.
"Just ripped it right off the wall," Buske said. "I'm angry, but probably more frustrated in the whole thing because what really stinks about all this is it's hurting kids."
The thieves made a mess of an excercise room as they ripped out long stretches of copper pipes from the basement.
"This is the room where we've had the most damage," Buske said. "They knocked over the weight machines."
Buske said the center's board and staff are committed to reopening the center as quickly as possible.
"I know that this neighborhood and these families in the immediate area and these kids, they want this place," he said. "They need it open."
The Milwaukee Police Department is investigating.