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Staten Island Relief Center Burglarized On Christmas Day

Heartless Vandals Clean Out Midland Beach Facility; Neighbors Furious
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Kiwanis relief tent in Midland Beach burglarized (credit: CBS 2)

Kiwanis relief tent in Midland Beach burglarized (credit: CBS 2)

Superstorm Sandy

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Staten Islanders continue to come together to rebuild and recover from Superstorm Sandy.

But as CBS 2’s Drew Levinson reported on Thursday, not everyone is sharing the neighborly spirit in the aftermath of the hurricane.

One set of heartless vandals broke into a Midland Beach Sandy relief center on Christmas Day and cleaned the place out, Levinson reported.

“A ton of clothes went, jackets, gloves, stuff like that,” volunteer Jack Biondo said. “And I saw that the shelves were bare, pushed over, diapers on the floor. We have some gas ranges we were giving out to people who had no heat and no electric and they were ripped open.”

The Kiwanis relief tent was barricaded and the tarp was down. The guard who is normally on staff had the holiday off.

The burglars also tried to break into the nearby supply truck, Biondo said.

“You see the notch here, the little cuts in here and I think that is where they tried to cut the lock,” he told Levinson.

Most of the supplies are gone but the center remains open, and is going to stay open for the foreseeable future, Levinson reported.

Upwards of 200 people eat lunch and dinner at the relief center every day. For many, it is the only place they can get a hot meal and supplies.

People who rely on the Kiwanis relief tent said they can’t believe anyone could be so cruel.

“I don’t know why anybody would break in and steal anything, all they got to do is ask.” Midland Beach resident Paula Holland told Levinson.

“I think that they ought to catch whoever did it and hang up on that lamp post up there,” Tom Coleman added.

The Kiwanis members who work at the relief center said they are not angry, but instead disappointed that people would steal from them.

So far, there have been no arrests and police haven’t named any suspects.

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