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Non-profit seeking to rebuild after being burglarized twice
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APPLE VALLEY • After Mojave Desert Animal Rescue's warehouse was burglarized twice in one night, the non-profit's members are working hard to collect the resources necessary to continue serving the homeless and their pets.
Founder and director Annie Lancaster estimates that at least $10,000 in supplies were stolen. Lancaster discovered that the organization’s warehouse on Dale Evans Parkway had been burglarized Friday evening.
Investigators from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department arrived at approximately 7:00 p.m. and discovered that burglars had cut the property’s chain link fence and forced open the warehouse’s door, according Sheriff’s Apple Valley station spokesperson Teresa McMahon.
While the first crime was upsetting, Lancaster was devastated when she returned to the warehouse on Saturday morning to discover that the warehouse had yet again been burglarized. This time, many more items were missing.
During the second break-in, burglars also stole a back hoe from the property and drove it down the street before it got a flat tire, Lancaster said. Neighbors saw the backhoe in the street around 2:30 a.m. on Saturday.
Other items stolen included a half ton of perishable food, hygiene products and even children’s coloring books, Lancaster said.
“You can’t stoop any lower than stealing from the homeless and the pets of the homeless,” Lancaster said. “Whoever did this, they knew what they were doing and who they were stealing from and they didn’t care.”
Mojave Desert Animal Rescue’s mission is to provide resources to help the homeless keep their pets.
“We had basically everything you need to own a pet and anything you need to survive as a human being,” Lancaster said.
Since the break-ins, Lancaster and the other staff have been working hard to move forward while feeling disgusted, angry and heartsick.
“People are trying to get things together and are trying to help,” Lancaster said.
On Tuesday, a High Desert resident volunteered to let Mojave Desert Animal Rescue use a warehouse on a temporary basis. Lancaster said she will use this space to store donations that are beginning to come in, including several thousand pounds of pet food donated Tuesday by the Harvest Food Bank in Riverside.
No suspects have been arrested and the crime is under investigation by Apple Valley Sheriff’s station. Anyone with information is asked to call 760-240-7400.
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