Thieves Steal from Nonprofit for Developmentally Disabled

Updated: 01/11/2013 6:04 PM By: Joy Lim Nakrin

Richfield police are investigating a rash of copper thefts targeting industrial air conditioning units, and one victim is a nonprofit that helps people with developmental disabilities.

According to Lt. Mike Flaherty of the Richfield Police Department, at least 5 incidents have been reported along Penn Avenue in the last three months. "They take the copper and scrap it then receive some sort of monetary payment for that," explains Flaherty.

Arc's Value Village was hit with $12,000 in damage. The thrift store is one of four that raises money for Arc Greater Twin Cities, a nonprofit dedicated to helping those with developmental disabilities. Laurel Hansen of Arc Greater Twin Cities explains, "there's a whole lifetime of services that we provide so every penny counts." In reaction to the crime, Jean Bender whose disabled son David relies on the services, remarked "when someone steals from the arc they are taking away from all of the David's of the world."

Police are still investigating leads. Lt. Flaherty adds that the other victims include St. Richard's Catholic Church, Fraser School, and New Perspectives treatment facility.