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Homeless supply shelter robbed twice in Apple Valley

Thieves broke into a warehouse holding supplies for the homeless in Apple Valley twice over the weekend.

January 7, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Homeless and low-income people and their pets in the Victorville area have suffered a devastating loss. Thieves broke into a charity's warehouse in Apple Valley twice over the weekend, stealing more than $10,000 worth of supplies.

Some of those supplies were donated to the Mojave Desert Animal Rescue from the community, including food and clothing for pets and humans. Last March, the organization's founder, Annie Lancaster, was a recipient of $500 from ABC7's Pay It Forward campaign. Many Eyewitness News viewers also opened up their wallets to donate to the organization.

The tears of joy streamed down Lancaster's face at the time. But now tears of sadness are all that flow.

"How low on the food chain do you have to go to find somebody who will steal from homeless people and their animals? It makes me sick," Lancaster said. "I had someone contact us yesterday that needed a new sleeping bag and a tent. We have nothing to give them, and it's below freezing here at night."

Lancaster said the stolen supplies would have lasted for a year, and if there aren't enough new donations, the non-profit organization may have to close its doors. She said she is also in need of large industrial warehouse space in the high desert to store those donations.

Lancaster provides food, leashes and care so the homeless, sick and recently unemployed can keep their pets. She kept clothes, toiletries, sleeping bags and tents for the homeless in the warehouse.

"One thing people don't seem to realize about homeless people is they take incredible care of their animals," Lancaster said. "They'll go hungry to feed their own animals. That pet is their everything, it's their heart, it's their best friend, it's their confidante."

More information on donating to the Mojave Desert Animal Rescue can be found on the organization's Facebook page at facebook.com/mojavedesertanimalrescue.