Police investigating break-in at Kirkland YMCA

KIRKLAND, Wash. -- Kirkland police are searching for whoever broke into a city building over the weekend, stealing eight laptop computers meant for a free summer program for teenagers, officials said Monday.

The burglary happened sometime between Friday night and Monday morning at the Kirkland Teen Union Building, police said. The thief broke a front window on the building at 348 Kirkland Ave. and stole eight MacBook computers, leaving two computers behind, along with camera equipment, cords, and more.

"My reaction was disbelief - just shocked," said Tony Clark, regional director of the YMCA, which runs programs for hundreds of kids in the building. "The laptops are crucial. They're vital to this program. Without the laptops, we can't really keep this program going."

Twenty two teenagers were scheduled to use the laptops Monday as part of a six-week program where they learn how to create resumes, edit video, and more. Clark said the teens went on an impromptu field trip instead, while police dusted for fingerprints and workers boarded up the broken window.

"We're a non-profit. We take the money we raise and we take it to programs like this and give back to the community," Clark added. "It's devastating when you have someone come and steal laptops or any equipment that goes to benefit others in the community. It's heart-wrenching."

There are surveillance cameras on the property, but Clark said he wasn't sure yet if they captured the crime as it happened.

"To see the look on (the kids') faces - a lot of them were disappointed," added Danel Lawrence, a program coordinator at the Y. "It was disheartening because I know how important this program is."

Clark said he hoped someone might come forward with clues or information, now knowing the computers were stolen from a charitable organization.

"We're not going to suffer," Clark added. "It's our kids, it's our community, it's our teens that are going to suffer."