On Tuesday, September 9th, FIRM staff arrived as if it were a normal day at the office. However, this day would be a little bit different. Preschool Director May Yang noticed that one of the front doors to the FIRM office was wide open and she decided to call the Fresno Police Department immediately. The Fresno Police Department arrived on the scene and began their investigation into a large-scale break-in of the FIRM offices.
FIRM staff found every office completely gone through as locked filing cabinets and desk drawers were completely broken. The thieves disabled the alarm system by cutting the power to the building, cutting the phone lines and destroying the keypad/wiring that controls very loud alarm on the building. Once they were able to disable the alarm, they not only ransacked the entire downstairs of the building, but also broke into the second floor of the offices and took more valuables. Overall, 7 laptops, 2 digital cameras, a projector, a flat screen television, 500 stamps, a wireless microphone receiver/microphone set and a number of other valuable items were taken. There were also 5 doors that were badly damaged as well as vandalism of the computer server room, the fire alarm control panel and numerous filing cabinets/desks. The overall losses and damage will most likely be well over $10,000.
While the break-in has caused some turmoil amongst the office and figuring out how to get things “back to normal”, our passion to continue our work has not been shaken! However, FIRM will begin working on a security strategy to better secure valuables in the building and also how to make sure that people cannot easily enter the building. This could include security cameras, a security guard, brighter lighting or other methods that are costly, but effective. FIRM has established their offices in this particular neighborhood to allow for easy access for our FIRM community. We also know that there are a lot of challenges in this neighborhood and that the FIRM campus is a light for the Gospel in the neighborhood. We are not surprised by opposition such as this and will certainly come out stronger through the power of Christ! If you would like to help FIRM secure their campus, please contact Executive Director, Zachary Darrah at (559) 487-1509.