INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Thieves hit an industrial site on the city's east side and the victims in this case are local veterans looking for work.
An organization called Save our Veterans is leasing an old factory building in the 100 block of South Parker Avenue. The plan is to turn it into a job training center for veterans.
On Monday, thieves got on the roof and ripped apart three new industrial air conditioning units. They left behind plenty of damage and a trail of footprints.
"There was snow on top of the trailer and footprints from the trailer to this roof. You could tell there was footprints from there," said Save Our Veterans Inc CEO Victor Wakley.
The thieves used shears to cut out the valuable copper tubing. Damage estimates are between $60,000 to $65,000.
Wakley isn't sure if insurance will cover the cost to replace the units. He says the extensive damage is forcing him to delay opening the job training center by a month or two.
Save Our Veterans Inc. is a not for profit organization dedicated to training and helping veterans find good paying jobs.
"What we are doing is compressing the timeline for them to learn. So instead of going to a four year college we can teach them to weld in 16 weeks and get a job right away," said Wakley.
By partnering with local higher education groups, veterans will be able to learn the skills they need to enter the workforce. Everything from welding, to plumbing, to I.T.
"Our current guardsman have a 30 percent unemployment rate so it's huge," said Wakley.
The goal is to replace the destroyed air conditioning units and open the center in April or May.
The organization is asking for donations to help get the center up and running. Donations can be made on the Save Our Veterans Inc. website.
Saturday morning, Wishard Memorial Hospital will close its doors.
Snow that moved through Central Indiana this week has wrapped up, leaving some areas with more than 10 inches of snow.
Free bags of salt will be available to the public Saturday after snow moved through Central Indiana this week.