Child advocacy center burglarized; computers stolen
A child advocacy center is trying to find computers with sensitive information that were stolen from its offices during a Christmas Eve burglary. Someone broke into Susie's Place, where counselors help connect child abuse victims with police.
When Emily Perry walked into Susie's Place on Christmas Day, she knew something was wrong. Someone had pried open the front door and helped themselves to their belongings.
"I was scared. I didn't know if somebody was still in the building," she said.
"There were items scattered all over the place and noticed that several of our computers had been stolen as well as some of our other technology, and our year-end cash donations," said Perry.
The burglar got away with an iMac 21-inch desktop and the center's DVD burner.
Susie's Place works with law enforcement agencies across Indiana investigating child abuse. They provide comfortable, child-friendly interview rooms for children to safely tell their stories on camera.
Now the center is notifying thousands of clients that someone stole their personal information stored on computers.
The burglary could also impact investigations.
"A lot of investigators that may have had information in that system as far as demographic information. Obviously it's going to be a setback for their investigation; something that they can overcome," said Det. Brian Nugent, Avon Police Department.
The thief or thieves not only took computers from Susie's Place but also from another business in the same building. Investigators have their suspicions on what might be next.
"They are looking to make money on the street, however they may do that. They may choose to sell them at a store. So we are going to do everything we can to reach out to those networks," said Det. Nugent.
At the same time, the people who work at Susie's Place are keeping their fingers crossed that police can catch their Christmas Day burglar.
"I hope that somebody will step up and let us know if they have some information," said Perry.
A local alarm company donated a full video security system to Susie's Place after hearing about the break-in. But the center is still strapped for money to pay the monthly monitoring fee.
Anyone with information about the suspects or stolen items can call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 262 TIPS.