The Boys & Girls Clubs of Kern County said they have had several recent cases of vandalism and theft at the Armstrong Youth Center.
The organization said that although it has hired professional security and has installed iron fencing, the center at 801 Niles St. has recently had several items stolen, including supplies from the Learning Garden, an ice machine and one of their security cameras.
The organization said it appears that a burglar got in by removing backyard gates and picket fencing.
Vandalism incidents include frequent tagging on the building and a broken window in a van that transports children to the center daily, the organization said. The cost to replace equipment and make repairs has cost the organization about $10,000.
“The Boys & Girls Clubs of Kern County staff, board, and kids are frustrated with the vandalism and thefts and resulting negative impact it will have on the Club’s programs and youth in East Bakersfield,” said Zane Smith, executive director for Boys & Girls Clubs of Kern County.
Smith said that due to the incidents, the organization is beefing up its security through additional cameras and patrols. He said they’re also planning to add more sheet metal panels for the fences.
“We want the club to be a second home for our children without it looking and feeling like a prison,” he said. “We are now compelled to take measures that reduce the welcome factor for our kids.”
No arrests in the thefts has been announced, although the organization said they have surveillance video of the ice machine being taken and have provided that to police.
Sheriff's officials are warning of yet another scam to hit the county, this time with a variation of the Sheriff's Office email being used to try to gain access to recipients' bank account information.
Emails have been received from “kernsheriff.org” requesting people click a link to access their “Chase” bank account, according to sheriff's officials. Clicking on any of these links may result in personal information being stolen.
Anyone who receives emails from “kernsheriff.org” with a request to access financial information is advised to not click the links and delete the emails.
A 20-year-old man shot and killed in Bakersfield last week has been identified.
Coroner's officials say Ian Bryson Reed was shot at about 6:21 p.m. in the 900 block of Union Avenue. He died at the scene.