Kids raising money to replace stolen laptops 

click to enlarge To donate to the youth program that lost student laptops in a July 12 heist, visit www.indiegogo.com/BAYCATShowMustGoOn.
  • To donate to the youth program that lost student laptops in a July 12 heist, visit www.indiegogo.com/BAYCATShowMustGoOn.

These burglars are professional jerks.

Police are hunting for a heartless thief or thieves who last week burglarized a Bayview district nonprofit that serves low-income youths, making off with 15 laptops that contained the kids’ hard work in digital media arts.

The crooks apparently went to great lengths to pull off the heist. Police said they used ropes to rappel from a rooftop window to gain access to the second story of the warehouse building at 2415 Third St.

BAYCAT, a local nonprofit that aims to educate and help find jobs for youths, lost all of its students’ laptops in the July 12 incident, founder and CEO Villy Wang said Thursday. Without the laptops, “We don’t have enough computers to continue our program,” Wang said.

But Wang said that was not the worst of it.

“The most devastating loss was five weeks of students’ work,” she said.

The burglary occurred overnight, police Officer Gordon Shyy said, and was reported to police after a program associate arrived at the center the next morning.

“Somehow somebody climbed up the side of the building and pushed open the large skylight windows,” Development Manager Brittany Janis said.

They appeared to have tied a rope to an air conditioner, Janis added, and climbed down into the BAYCAT center. They also apparently exited through another window on Illinois Street and rappelled to the sidewalk.

“You can see there are scuff marks on the walls from their shoes,” Janis said.

Wang believes the nonprofit was targeted by “someone who’s been in our space before.” On Wednesday, she said, another laptop was stolen while the center was open.

Striking back in the best way it can, the nonprofit has produced a short film about its ordeal and launched an online campaign to raise $50,000 in 50 days.

On Thursday, a 16-year-old BAYCAT intern called the heist “shocking and devastating.”

maldax@sfexaminer.com

How to help

To donate to the youth program that lost student laptops in a July 12 heist, visit www.indiegogo.com/BAYCATShowMustGoOn.

The website features a film about the ordeal and details about how your donation will be spent.

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