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Robbery at local teen center calls for more security

Local teens were supposed to be surprised when they walked in and saw a 40-inch HDTV waiting for them at the Bowling Green Teen Center.

Instead, center employees were the ones who got the shock when they arrived at the center located in the Veteran’s Memorial Building at City Park. The television was missing.

Two computers, three PlayStations, movies, most of the center’s video games and some chairs were also reportedly missing before workers arrived at around 1 p.m.

The center, which opened in September, is a place for students in seventh and eighth grade to go after school and was created as a result of community concerns about youth suicide, said Niki Messmore, center director and University graduate student.

Linda Dobb, University executive vice president, said the teen center is a cooperative venture between the University, the city’s parks and recreation department and the United Way.

The teen center is staffed by University students and is a place where teens can study, get homework help or just go to hang out, Dobb said.

“[The robbery] is a big disappointment, but it gives us a chance to step back and make sure things are secure and safe,” Dobb said.

Bowling Green police are investigating the robbery and declined comment on the incident at press time.

Though the missing items can be replaced, teen center officials will be working to secure items before trying to replace them, Dobb said.

She said the computers used at the teen center were donated by the University.

Dobb said even though the items were stolen, there are still things to be gained from the theft. She said they might start putting locks on the computers and keeping the movies in locked cabinets to try and prevent theft in the future.

Messmore said there will be a fundraiser at McDonald’s at 1470 E. Wooster St. from 4 to 7 p.m. today with a portion of proceeds going to the center.

Mary Byers, administrative assistant and marketing supervisor for McDonald’s, said when groups come in, they will usually greet people when they come in the door and clean tables.

“The percent of donations depends on the sales,” Byers said. “The [donation amount] varies depending on how much the group promotes the event and the size of the group.”

The teen center is also accepting donations to the center from anybody in the community who wants to get involved.

The group hopes for donations that might keep teens entertained during the colder months when outdoor programs aren’t possible, including movies and video games, Dobb said.

People who wish to donate can get in touch with the group by either calling the Office of Service Learning at 419-372-965 or the Teen Center at 419-280-0831.

Links

Bowling Green Teen Center

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