Yukoners rally behind Boys and Girls Club after break in

After vandals broke into the Boys and Girls Club of Yukon building on June 3, stealing equipment and trashing the building, the youth centre has received an outpouring of support from Yukoners.

After vandals broke into the Boys and Girls Club of Yukon building on June 3, stealing equipment and trashing the building, the youth centre has received an outpouring of support from Yukoners.

“The response of the community has been wonderful,” said Duncan Johnstone, the centre’s executive director.

Several people came forward asking about donations and offering to replace the video games that were stolen.

“It has really humbled us,” said Johnstone.

Between the time the club staff left on the evening of June 3 and the morning of June 4, someone broke into the centre’s building on the corner of Sixth Avenue and Ogilvie Street.

The thief broke a window to climb in, threw eggs and spices on the centre floor, and stole about $3,000 worth of equipment according to Johnstone.

Video games, a Wii, an Xbox 360, movies, a laptop and a cellphone are among the items taken. It took three staff members about four hours to clean up the mess.

“It did make it a little bit more frustrating that somebody would do this to us,” said Johnstone.

The youth centre has called for those who committed the break-in to come forward. So far, no one has.

“We aren’t looking for anything more than being able to make sense of what happens, more of a reconciliation,” said Johnstone, adding that the laptop and the cellphone are items the centre particularly wants back.

Businesses and neighbours around the youth centre are reviewing video surveillance tapes, hoping to find something that could help the investigation.

“I’m not certain how useful that’s been but that will all be in the hands of the RCMP,” said Johnstone.

The Boys and Girls Club offers a weekday warrior program – after-school recreation for kids aged six to 12 – at three different elementary schools in Whitehorse.

The break-in didn’t affect the warrior program.

It did force the closure of the drop-in centre, a place where teens aged 12 to 18 can get access to computers, a music centre, arts facilities, recreational activities and food.

The Boys and Girls Club drop-in centre is scheduled to re-open on Wednesday.

Johnstone is looking forward for the youth centre’s planned move next to the food bank, scheduled for next month.

“The area is safer, it’s much more out in the open,” he said.

The Boys and Girls Club of Yukon originally started in 1999, known then as the Whitehorse Youth Centre, before expanding and becoming a local chapter of the Boys and Girls Club of Canada.

Anyone with information can contact the BGCY Executive Director, Duncan Johnstone, at 393-2824 or the RCMP at 667-5555.

Contact Pierre Chauvin at pierre.chauvin@yukon-news.com

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