FORT LAUDERDALE – Mount Bethel Human Services Corporation, a community services organization serving Fort Lauderdale’s residents in the 33311 zip code, was burglarized last week for the third time since January 1. The first robbery took place on New Year’s Day at approximately 12:30 a.m., according to Minister Rosby Glover, the organization’s executive director. Computer equipment and electronics were stolen from the office, located at 1021 Sistrunk Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale.
Two days later, burglars returned and hit more offices, Glover said.
“We tightened down security as much as we could at that particular time,” said Glover. “We called for additional help from the Fort Lauderdale Police Department and thought everything was taken care of. But then on Tuesday (Jan. 15), we walked in and discovered that they took the loaner computers we had secured.”
Mount Bethel Human Services is a 501c3, faith based organization with a vision to build communities by building families through Christian values and beliefs.
Glover described the robberies as “pretty disheartening. We have worked in this community for the past 19 years and never had an incident where someone broke in. To start a new year off in that way really hurt.”
The robbery, Glover said, set the organization back “tremendously. Even though most of the data was backed up on the server, there’s some information very valuable to our organization that we won’t be able to retrieve.”
“This hurts our daily operations because that’s our lifeline,” he said.
Mount Bethel needs community support to replace the stolen items, according to Marlene Lopes, the organization’s director of programs and operations said.
On Saturday, Jan. 26, the organization is sponsoring its third annual community walk themed “Taking Our Boys Back.”
The event was originally organized for the youth, Glover said, but because of “the few incidents we’ve had, there are some entities now that want to know if they can help raise funds. The walk in itself is really about awareness.”
The walk will kick off at 9 a.m. at John C. Carter Park, 1450 W. Sunrise Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale, head south to Sistrunk Boulevard, and then west to the African-American Research Library 2650 Sistrunk Blvd. Following the same route, walkers will then return to Carter Park. For information about the walk or to make a tax-free donation, call 954-763-5010.
The 33311 zip code has the highest numbers of “everything negative,” Lopes said. “This includes child abuse cases, drowning, substance abuse issues, HIV/AIDS and the highest number of people returning to the community after incarceration.”
“We want to try and chang hange that,” Glover added.
Cynthia Roby may be reached at CynthiaRoby@bellsouth.net