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Equipment stolen from north St. Louis youth center day before big event

Their kickoff event is on July 11 at 6 p.m.

ST. LOUIS – Police are investigating after lawn equipment was stolen from a north St. Louis nonprofit Wednesday morning.

Officers responded to Urban K-Life at 2900 N. Prairie Avenue around 7 a.m. after an employee noticed lawn equipment missing from a detached shed. Suspects also took hand tools and a tool box from the main building, police said. Surveillance video shows the thieves breaking in at around 2 a.m.

"These are guys who have scoped this place out,” founding director Jason Julian said. He got emotional as he watched the surveillance video for the first time.

"They're coming in here thinking they just ran into a gold mine,” he said. “I feel angry and violated."

Urban K Life serves 250 teenagers each year.

"We mentor them and give them guidance and teach them who they were created to be,” Julian said.

The theft comes on the heels of another blow to this ministry. Less than a month ago, one of their students, Myeisha Connor, was shot and killed. She was just 16.

"It's heatbreaking. These kids are just coming from some tough places,” Julian said.

But Jason is determined for Urban K-Life to be a safe place. Even though he fears the thieves might come back for what they left behind, he also wants to reach them.

"And let them know this is not what you have to be, this is not what God made you for,” he said.

Their kickoff event is on July 11 at 6 p.m.

Urban K-Life is having a kickoff night Thursday to offer tours to families or volunteers who want to get involved and to accept donations. It will run from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the youth center, 2900 Prairie Avenue.

For more information on Urban K-Life, click here.

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