Thieves cripple neighborhood group

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INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Rachel Cooper had pain in her eyes. Cooper is President of the South East Community Organization. She has held that post for more than 20 years, and for the first time in those years she has contemplated walking away.

This comes after vandals dismantled the neighborhood shed, and took more than $10,000 worth of equipment. Including lawn mowers, weed eaters and snow blowers. This happened In the 1900 block of Fletcher Avenue.

“I almost walked out I was so disgusted,” said Cooper. “I do everything for this community and you steal from us.”

Cooper said after she cried she quickly had a change of heart.

“God said I put you here for a reason,” said Cooper. “I’m not going to let the devil take me down.”

Police are trying to determine if this break-in is connected to a rash of vandalism that happened just a few blocks south in the heart of Fountain Square. Police were called to the area near Orange and State Street where several businesses had windows busted out. So far police have made no arrest in that investigation.

Cooper currently does not have the funding to replace the stolen equipment. The lawnmower and weed eaters were used to trim the neighborhood’s baseball park. Volunteers also used the equipment to maintain the lawns of senior citizens and blow away their snow.

“This neighborhood will always come together through thick and thin,” said Cooper.

Call Crime Stoppers if you have any information on the break-in or vandalism. You can reach Crime Stoppers at 262-TIPS, or 262-8477.

Anyone who would like to help South East Community Center replace their stolen equipment can call 317. 213.9093. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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