VISALIA – Thieves stole thousands of dollars of equipment from the Salvation Army office in Visalia on Wednesday night.
Police believe several suspects were involved in the burglary because of how many items were taken. The incident happened sometime between 9 p.m. Wednesday and 6:30 a.m. Thursday. The thieves broke into the office, located on Main and Dollner streets, by popping off a screen window and then opening the window.
When Jesus Quintalla, the envoy for Visalia’s Salvation Army, arrived at work on Thursday, he discovered the open window, an open door, and a lot of missing equipment.
Detectives said that the thieves took $15,000 worth of equipment, including a keyboard, guitars, microphones, six speakers, two computers, a camera, and a projector. A safe with a small amount of money was also missing. The suspects also left a mess, with chairs and papers thrown everywhere. In the backyard, clothes collected for the needy had been ransacked.
“I really cannot believe it,” Quintalla said.
Quintalla said that the Salvation Army used a lot of the stolen equipment on a day-to-day basis, and this burglary is going to have a major impact on some of their programs, including their youth outreach.
“Our budget for serving the local community is already tight and this type of activity just strains resources that much more,” he said. “It impacts more than just our organization, but also those individuals who participate in the effected programs.”
Police found fingerprints at the scene, but haven’t figured out who they belong to. Visalia Police Sgt. Amy Watkins described a possible vehicle suspect as being a “dark colored SUV, full size SUV, and light colored full size truck.”
Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to call Detective Robert Gonzales at (559) 713-4652.
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