Burglars hit Locker 505 as charity prepares for holiday demand

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – We’re just days from Christmas, and some families could’ve been relying on the clothes that were stolen from Locker 505.

Employees with the nonprofit are heartbroken, but dedicated to getting through this so they can continue their mission.

“I’ve been asked in the past where you just kind of give up and close or whatever. And it’s like no, somebody needs to be here for the kids,” said Kim Kerschen, director of Locker 505. 

Locker 505 has been broken into seven times since opening in 2014.

“Try to keep my emotions intact. It does get kind of emotional, both for my staff who tries really hard to give the kids the best of what we have, and stuff. And to go to a rack and not have what they thought we have, that’s frustrating for them. And of course, it’s frustrating for me to not have it there for the kids. So we’ll get through like we have before,” said Kerschen. 

Kerschen says the alarm went off early Monday morning.

“The alarm goes off at three o’clock in the morning, drags you out of sleep. And then the, you know, the real alarm comes of ‘Oh my god, what have they taken from the kids?” Kerschen said. 

The nonprofit’s doorbell caught the thieves running away on camera.

Kerschen told KOB 4 between having to get the window fixed and how many items were stolen, it comes out to about $5,000. 

“We had lots of coats taken, some jeans taken. And of course, coats are the one thing that we’re kind of low on, right. And so here we are losing more coats,” said Kerschen. 

Kerschen says losing jeans is tough too because it’s a popular item.

Locker 505’s inventory is based on donations, making every break-in that much harder.

“We try really hard to keep a really tight budget and to, you know, get as much as we can for per dollar and try to make the kids happy and have a week’s full of clothes. And then it just it’s so defeating when you kind of get shot down,” Kershcen said. 

The nonprofit relies heavily on neighbors to keep them afloat.

“We depend on the community allowing us to exist, we don’t get federal funding, we don’t get state funding, we don’t get funding from the school. It is the community that allows us to exist,” said Kerschen.

If you’d like to help Locker 505 recover from this break-in, Kerschen says you can donate gently used children’s clothes or go out and buy new clothes to donate.

Kerschen also told KOB 4 the community can make monetary donations if they don’t have any clothes to give. 

KOB 4 partnered up with Locker 505 Tuesday for a phone bank to help after Monday morning’s break-in.