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Robbing the poor 

Call it a sign of the times: Staff at the Maxine Lewis Memorial Shelter in SLO discovered March 12 they had been robbed. According to EOC Homeless Services Director Dee Torres, the thief broke a window in the office behind the shelter and took several items including a computer and cell phone issued to staff. The computer held personal information about many clients, according to Torres.

“When you’re robbing a homeless shelter,” Torres said, “things are getting pretty bad.”

Torres said this is not the first time the shelter has been robbed, and the Prado Day Center, which provides services to homeless people, has also been robbed twice, including once by a client. Besides the electronics, Torres said the thief took about  $1,000 worth of local bus passes, which were supposed to be distributed to clients over the next 6 months, and two $50 gas cards, also intended for clients.

“It’s such a big hit,” Torres said, “when we’re trying to do good with the little we have and it’s taken away. The staff feels really violated.”

Police could not be reached for comment as of press time, but the investigation is ongoing.

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