PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) -- Nearly half of the computers used in a Providence afterschool program for low-income children were stolen, and as police search for a suspect, organizers say they are struggling to find replacements.
A total of six desktop computers and four laptops were taken from Khadarlis, a nonprofit that offers afterschool programs for underprivileged kids.
The ten computers were taken sometime on Tuesday night or in the early morning hours on Wednesday.
Aisha Desince, co-founder of the organization, tearfully made phone calls on Wednesday morning telling the families who use the free facility that the center had been burglarized.
Desince said the computers were there when she left last night, but were gone when she opened the center on Wednesday morning.
The cost to replace the stolen electronics is not a bill that organizers can afford to pay.
"We're not getting any federal funding or local funding, so for us to try to help the people in this neighborhood, and for them to turn around and rob us is like a slap in the face, it really is," said Desince.
The nonprofit's owner has filed a report with Providence police who plan to dust for fingerprints.
She says that hopefully clues like a flipped over chair, or an open window where the stolen air conditioner once sat, along with possible surveillance video will help police catch the thieves.
"I would like whoever did this to be prosecuted and I'm hoping the community will reach out and replace the computers because children need it for afterschool programs, said Desince."
Khadarlis also provides free food for children in need, and will continue to give them food this afternoon. The nonprofit has been running for about five years.
"It just hurts, it really really hurts," said the program's co-owner.
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