'Our new Santa': Good Samaritan gifts bike after Albuquerque nonprofit clothing bank burglary - Albuquerque Journal

‘Our new Santa’: Good Samaritan gifts bike after Albuquerque nonprofit clothing bank burglary

Kim Kerschen, executive director of Locker#505 student clothing bank, wipes away tears after a man, who wanted to stay anonymous, donated a new bicycle to replace one that was stolen during a Tuesday night break-in when someone shattered a large glass display window at the store on Menaul NE. (Chancey Bush/Albuquerque Journal)

Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal

A Grinch tried to spoil the holidays this week by breaking into Locker#505, the local nonprofit clothing bank that provides free clothing to needy students who otherwise might not have appropriate attire for school.

But even in the midst of a bad situation, a generous act by an anonymous individual shows Mr. Grinch will not have his day.

The break-in occurred exactly at 10:09 p.m. Tuesday, when someone shattered a large glass display window at the front of the store at 6203 Menaul NE.

“Our doorbell cam and our alarm caught the sound of the glass breaking, so that’s how we know what time it happened,” said Robyn Simon, operations coordinator for Locker#505.

The thief “was able to stay out of camera range so there’s no video showing the person,” she said.

Broken glass litters the sidewalk and interior display area where a thief broke out the window and stole a bicycle that was on display at Locker505 in Albuquerque on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022. (Courtesy of Locker#505)

With the alarm audibly sounding, the thief was in and out just quickly enough to smash some Christmas decorations and take a bicycle that was in the picture window, tossing aside a large teddy bear that was propped up on the bicycle seat. Also left behind was some blood-stained broken glass, indicating that the thief may have paid a price after all, Simon said.

Robyn Simon, operations coordinator at Locker#505, gets emotional after a man, who declined to give his name, donated a new bicycle after hearing about a Tuesday night break-in at the store. “He’s our new Santa,” she said. (Chancey Bush/Albuquerque Journal)

International Protective Service, which provides security for the business, responded almost immediately, Simon said. The damage, estimated at a few thousand dollars, includes the cost of having IPS stand guard outside the broken window all night “so no one else would just walk in and steal stuff,” Simon said.

“We’re a nonprofit and don’t have that in our budget. So the cash that we’re going to have to use to pay for all of this is going to take away from us being able to buy new shoes and new underwear and anything that we need to buy,” she said. “We won’t be able to buy as much.”

Nevertheless, on Thursday, a single act of kindness lightened the dark mood.

“A gentleman – he didn’t want to leave his name – drove up to the donation door and said, ‘We heard about what happened and we want to give you a bicycle.’ And then he wheeled in a brand new BMX-type bike,” Simon said. “I gave him a hug and tears started flowing. He’s our new Santa.”

Break-ins of this type are unfortunate and all too common, particularly at this time of the year, said Aaron T. Jones, founder and president of IPS. About 70% of the calls his security firm responds to, he said, are of this nature.

Another nice twist to this story involves the large teddy bear, impolitely thrown aside by the burglar, and which Locker#505 employees have used for years in displays. He was finally given a name.

“From now on, the bear will be referred to as Jango,” Simon said, named for the guard dog who accompanied the IPS security officer who sat watch over the vandalized business.

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