By Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – Scofflaws have made a third attempt to gain access to the Morinville Youth Centre, located across the road from the Ray McDonald Sports Centre. Recently, would-be thieves tried to gain access to the centre by using a blow torch.
Morinville youth worker A. D. Richardson said the recent event is the third attack on the centre since February.
“There was one that happened at the end of February where they had broken into the side door and taken the Wii and a bunch of other things,” she said. “There was another one where they had broken a window with bars on it and tried to get their hand in to open the door. That didn’t work.” Richardson said the broken window was replaced with Plexiglas.
But in the most recent incident, Richardson said the would-be thieves brought some tools. “They took a blow torch that you have to wheel,” she said. “When I heard blow torch I thought it was something you’d use on crème brûlée, that kind of thing. No, it was a wheeling blow torch and in the dead of night they tried to get into the youth centre that way.”
Richardson said the attempted break-and-enter was not successful, but a large enough hole was made to require another set of repairs.
The third incident has been enough to prompt her to remove the things tempting those trying to get in. “I’m taking everything of value out of that youth centre,” Richardson said, adding she’d like put a brave face on and say it’s all OK, but is disheartened by the third attack on the centre in two months. “I know the youth centre has been a little bit dormant lately because we are trying to work on the feasibility of having it open. It’s really disheartening that this has been happening over and over again.”
The youth worker said other than the gaming systems and some games, which have all been removed; there simply is nothing of value to steal. No money is ever on the premises and all that remains is a TV set Richardson had when she was in high school and donated to the centre.
She is left confused by the repeated attacks when the community is trying to do something positive for youth. “You wouldn’t attack a sanctuary,” she said. “To some kids that is their sanctuary. It sucks.”
A camera has been installed at the centre to monitor any further incidences.