Thieves steal back-to-school gift cards worth $1,000 from San Francisco non-profit

Sarah Wan says she got the call from her staff about 9:30 Wednesday morning. The front gate of the Community Youth Center on Clement Street in San Francisco's Richmond District was broken. A security camera recorded two thieves taking a key lockbox that was on the metal gate.

"This morning, when my staff came in, the gates and door were wide open, and then we noticed there was some damage in this area with the lock," Wan said pointing to the bent metal security gate.

"They were using a bar to break the gate, and then they also took the lockbox," said Wan.

The security camera shows the two men taking off with the key box about 4:30 a.m. Wan says somehow, the thieves  managed to get the key out and came back later shortly before 5:30 a.m.

Wan says the men entered the office and stole a laptop, monitor, and a box with $1,000 worth of cards.

"Inside the gift box we had about 100 gift cards we were about to pass out to youth for back to school supplies," said Wan, "They know it's a community youth center, and they still target us, so it's definitely very sad."

The Community Youth Center is a non-profit, with volunteers who have big hearts, but not big pocketbooks.

"Those are like the extras that it's not budgeted for that we get from the community and other small businesses," said Jaynry Mak, the CYC Board Chairwoman, "That's something that is not going to be replaceable."

It's a big loss piled onto other recent losses.

On Sunday, the CYC's parking area at St. Mary's Square Garage near Chinatown was also hit when someone smashed a cabinet and stole their tools.

Thieves also broke into their main CYC Tenderloin office on Post Street about the same time last year, stealing thousands of dollars worth of gifts and equipment for students.

Next door to the CYC's Richmond district office, Andy Wei owns the Key Man shop, a small family-run business. He says the CYC staff donated money to his shop when a thief stole his tools last month.

"We lost a total amount of $3,000," said Wei, "We have kids to feed, so we have to continue our business."

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A sign was posted on a window with a plea saying, "No cash inside, please don't break window."

"I would like to see more police patrols. I think more presence, so people know they can't come into San Francisco and commit these kinds of crimes," said Mak.

The Community Youth Center director hopes anyone with tips will call San Francisco police.

The Center's staff say they don't have the budget to replace the gift cards right now, but hope to get more donations, so they can still provide help and show appreciation to the student volunteers in their programs. If you'd like to help the CYC website is: