Workout equipment stolen from Northern Liberties youth center

March 4, 2013 3:33:44 PM PST
A rowing center in Northern Liberties that was going to help Philadelphia youth has suffered a major setback.

Tens of thousands of dollars worth of workout equipment, rowing machines, and spin bikes are now gone.

It is equipment Dwayne Adams of Breaking Barriers Rowing has been accumulating over the past eight years through donations, grants, and out of his own pocket as well.

"I was about to open, but now that's not going to happen. I'm not sure what date I can even give because there was so much taken from me. Honestly, it wasn't taken from me, it was taken from the kids," Adams said.

This story really begins 15 years ago when Dwayne lost his left eye to a stray bullet.

His rehab included taking up rowing.

It turned out Dwayne had a knack for the sport and actually won the Bronze Medal at the World Adaptive Rowing Championships in Spain back in 2002.

He later started the Breaking Barriers Rowing program to give inner-city kids a safe place to exercise, study, and hang-out.

Just last week Action News was there when Adams received a Hometown Heroes Award from the 76ers for his effort.

And now, nearly all of it is gone.

"This is a big blow to the point where I don't honestly know how I'm going to recover. I put seven and a half years in and it's almost like it's gone down the drain," Adams said.

Adams says the worst part is that he didn't have the money to buy an insurance policy for the equipment.

Now, he is left with few options.

"Say my prayers, which I've been doing the whole time and just keep moving forward. That's all I can do. I'm not going to give up," Adams said.

Investigators say the suspects must have had a large truck of some kind to haul away the equipment.

Anyone with information is asked to call police.