Thieves Steal Items from Orlando LGBT Youth Organization on Thanksgiving Morning
On Thanksgiving morning, thieves ransacked a storage unit owned by the Zebra Coalition, stealing clothing and other items intended for LGBT youth.
Dexter Foxworth, Zebra Coalition’s executive director, said he was tipped off about the theft by construction workers who noticed the unit was partway open and the lock was broken.
“It literally looked like [the thieves] turned the place upside down,” Foxworth said. “It was a disaster.”
He said they took a lot of clothing donations “for the kids,” plus many of their survival hygiene packs, which are packages containing first aid kits, sunscreen, food, basic hygiene products and resource information for the LGBT community, intended to be handed out to LGBT youth who are living on the streets.
They also took electronic games and entertainment that was in storage while renovations on Zebra House are being finished. There will be a ribbon-cutting Dec. 5 to celebrate the grand opening of Zebra Coalition’s new headquarters and emergency youth shelter.
Foxworth filed a police report but there are no suspects so far.
“They’re still investigating,” he said.
As far as recovery, Foxworth said the Coalition had already been planning a holiday drive called Hope for the Holidays, and now, “We just increased the list with additional needs based on what was stolen.”
He said the biggest need right now is clothing, especially heaver clothing for cold weather, but there will be a full list of needs posted on the Zebra Coalition website and their Facebook page soon. Foxworth said monetary donations are always welcome as well, and currently possible via the website.
Collections for the donation drive will run from 1:30 – 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 6, 11, 13, 18 and 20. The limited collection time is because of their limited staff, to ensure they can still serve their clients.
Foxworth said he’s not worried about more break-ins, because the items were only in storage because of the current construction which ends before the grand opening.
“The new property does have a great security system and surveillance,” he said.