BELOIT, Wis. - Burglars in Beloit have robbed a home twice, taking a charity's items that were scheduled to be shipped to troops overseas.
Operation Ooh-Rah organizer Linn Krafjack, who started the charity five years ago to raise money to send care packages to troops serving overseas, said all the charity's donations have been moved to another location in hopes of keeping the items safe.
Krafjack said the burglaries happened last month just nine days apart.
Krafjack said the charity lost more than $1,200 in donations and raffle items, including autographed pictures of Ryan Braun and Clay Matthews.
"Plus, when they came back they decided they hadn't taken enough from Operation Ooh Rah, so they went into the care packages and took shampoo and bar soap razors and shave cream," Krafjack said.
Krafjack said the charity is taking donations for a reward in hopes of getting some leads on the burglaries.
"They didn't just steal from me and my charity; they stole from everybody in Beloit and Janesville and the surrounding area that donated something. They need to be caught and prosecuted," Krafjack said.
The community is stepping up to help Operation Ooh-Rah recover from the loss. Volunteers on Thursday helped Krafjack put the finishing touches on some gift baskets for a charity event this weekend.16045972
Patti Mitchell at Sara's Pub rallied her fellow bartenders across the area to help. They were able to get several hundred dollars and matching donations from local bar owners.
"It's good to have bar gossip work in a good way for a change," Mitchell said. "It makes you feel good to know that there are bad people who robbed her house but there are good people who would come to her rescue. It gives you a little hope."
Krafjack said the thefts didn't derail the charity's momentum but rather fueled it. At this year's Operation Ooh Rah's festival, Krafjack will also be taking donations for a reward in hopes of getting some leads on the burglaries.
Operation Ooh-Rah's festival will go on as scheduled this Saturday at the VFW in Beloit.
"We're going to make it happen. It's going to be a great event, so thugs beware," Krafjack said.
For more information on Operation Ooh-Rah, go to operationoohrah.org.