Alfred Saliba Family Service Center works to rebuild after ruthless vandalism

Published: May. 10, 2022 at 6:41 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - A group of teens now faces charges in a Mother’s Day crime spree. They vandalized the Alfred Saliba Family Service Center in Dothan to the point the facility had to close. The teens targeted the non-profit twice on Sunday, and in less than 24 hours, they tried for a third time Monday afternoon, in broad daylight, and got caught in the act.

Lt. Ronald Hall, Criminal Investigator for The Dothan Police Department stated, “Four individuals thus far have been charged in reference to the three burglaries that have occurred at that location, and we have learned the identity of additional suspects who are juveniles as well. So, there will be more arrests made.”

While police work to find the other vandals, the Alfred Saliba Family Service Center is working to pick up the pieces.

Debbie Geiger, site manager for Alfred Saliba Family Service Center said, “It’s really bad. We basically have to take everything out of the rooms to get it outside to actually clean everything up and then get the floors cleaned and walls wiped down, counter wiped down, desks wiped down. It’s just gonna take quite a bit of time.”

Their work is cut out for them, but getting back to serving the Wiregrass is driving their efforts.

“We’re gonna do everything that we can to get it up and running as fast as possible, so that we can continue doing what we’ve always been doing and serving the community, and that the people in the community are not missing the things that they need in their life to help them make a better life for themselves.”

With help from those they serve, the center is already making headway.

Geiger says, “It just means a lot to us that that much of the community is willing to take time off from work to come help us rebuild, really is what we’re doing.”

For now, they’re focused on reopening and hoping the kids that did this, don’t do it somewhere else.

Geiger states, “For the magnitude of what they did, honestly, it should be something more than just a slap on the wrist, because if so their gonna go back out and either hit us again, or somewhere else. Any of the non-profits in town really can’t afford to have this much damage done because we don’t make a profit to go back and replenish everything.”

Most of the stuff that was stolen, cell phones, a laptop and a projector, have been recovered. So far, all people involved in this case face felony charges. The family service center will remain closed indefinitely while they work to re-build.

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