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Theft reported at a Lafayette center for autism

Lafayette police are looking for someone who stole from a center for children with autism.

Posted: Jul. 3, 2018 6:35 PM
Updated: Jul. 5, 2018 9:40 AM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Some kids with autism in Lafayette have to wait a little longer to play outside because someone stole supplies for their playground project.

What used to be stacked on a wooden platform outside Little Star ABA Therapy in Lafayette was expected to inspire smiles, laughs and good memories for children with autism.


"We wanted to give them more room to run and play," said Manager Shelly Will.

Someone stole about $400 worth of mulch that was supposed to be used to expand the playground. 

"That was supposed to take place this coming weekend," said Will. 

But now, the project has been delayed.

"It just made me kind of sick to my stomach," said Will. "I just realized whoever took it doesn't realize what type of center we are."

Or at least, she hopes not. Will ordered new mulch but she says $400 is a lot for this non-profit.

"Any extra that we spend, in my opinion, is taking away from the kids," said Will. "We try to be as frugal as possible so that more money can go into their programs."

She feels like police probably won't be able to catch the person or people responsible.

"Since we did not have security cameras in the back and since there is quite a problem with people driving around and taking things from local parking lots like this, there really wasn't a whole lot they could do because they couldn't prove that the person stole the mulch and they may not even be from this area," said Will. 

But in case the thief is reading this story, Will has a message.

"You do not realize what you've done, it isn't just a small crime to us, it took away a playground, not permanently but for awhile for these children," said Will.

If you'd like to donate to Little Star ABA Therapy, click here. 

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