Kewtown NGO’s premises burgled… again

Thieves made a hole in the kitchen ceiling.

Working to uplift and assist the community is the aim of Build a Better Society (BABS) in Kewtown, but this is becoming more difficult as heartless criminals keep targeting the centre.

BABS, which has been in existence for about 47 years, was once again burgled on the evening of Saturday May 2 when thieves broke a window in the hall to gain access.

They made their way to the kitchen and then to the women’s bathroom where they made a hole in the ceiling. They then went to the bigger kitchen, and made another hole in that ceiling.

The thieves stole three 30-litre pots used to cook food for their feeding programme, two fire extinguishes, hammers and screwdrivers amongst other tools, as well as a new urn which was donated last week, baking trays, and a kettle all amounting to over R50 000.

BABS had recently reopened its feeding programme (“Soup kitchen reopens in Kewtown”, Athlone News, April 29).

This is the 15th burglary since July last year and BABS manager Jo-Anne Wilson, said it was becoming more difficult to purchase new items and repair damages to centre every time a break-in occurred.

She said money which could be used to cook more food for the poor is now having to be spent on repairs and replacing stolen items.

“BABS has has tried to serve the people of Kewtown and surrounding areas with basic services such as ECD, older persons and nutritional programmes. We have survived because we were proud to make that difference in this community that faces daily social ills. During the past few months we have been a constant target. People have not respected the work we do to build individuals true potential,” said Ms Wilson.

She said the burglaries occurred so often that they were unable to claim from insurance.

Their building, she added, had an alarm system but it was not triggered when the break in occurred.

“My plea to our community is that instead of harbouring the criminal element to come forward. This lockdown has enabled us to rethink our positions and to make it better for the next generation. We are appealing to the community to not buy goods that they suspect has been stolen,” she said.

Athlone police station’s spokeswoman, Sergeant Zita Norman, said no arrests had yet been made and that anyone with information should call Athlone SAPS on 021 697 9238/39.