By Natasha Brown
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A CBS 3 Exclusive — Superstar actor, comedian and Philadelphia native Kevin Hart recently donated 500 computers to Philadelphia schools and recreation centers (See Related Story).
Tonight CBS 3 has learned some of those computers have been stolen.
Just a day ago, there were brand new touc screen computers sitting on these desks at the Cobbs Creek Recreation Center. The computers are now gone and police are on the hunt for the burglar who stole them.
“Went in and noticed that the office door was open and went in and checked that four of the computers were missing,” Leo Dignam said.
Leo Dignam with Philadelphia’s Parks and Recreation Department spoke with CBS 3 by phone about just how vital these computers are to neighborhood children.
“For some kids that’s the only computer they’re going to see,” Dignam said.
Even more so coming from comedian and West Philadelphia native Kevin Hart who donated the computers to the recreation center just last month — 200 computers to recreation centers throughout the city and 300 to the Philadelphia School District.
“Comes here to the city to give back to the communities that he grew up in, and unfortunately, these idiots come in here and take items that these kids are using for school,” Lt. John Walker of Philadelphia Police said.
Police are also looking into two other overnight break-ins at recreation centers in Southwest Philadelphia. In each case, they found no sign of forced entry. Televisions, electronics and one other computer turned up stolen.
“It appears in all three cases that someone had a key to make entry. They got in with a key and got out with the items. Obviously we’re concerned because these rec centers are pretty active. They keep the kids off the street. These items are critically important to us from a law enforcement perspective and also to this community,” Lt. Walker said.
The city is in the process of installing security cameras in 100 of its recreation centers, hoping to prevent crimes like this from happening in the future.
Police are continuing to investigate the overnight break-ins at three separate recreation centers here in Southwest Philadelphia. Right now, trying to determine exactly how many people may have had access to these buildings.