Teen thief steals from University City nonprofit aimed to help kids escape city violence

The thief stole donated clothes and money that was meant for a weekly food allowance to feed students.

Christie Ileto Image
Wednesday, February 9, 2022
Thief steals from nonprofit aimed to help kids escape city violence
A thief stole donated goods and money from Dimplez 4 Dayz, a nonprofit that aims to be a safe haven for kids to escape city violence.

UNIVERSITY CITY (WPVI) -- Angela Richardson is the Executive Director for Dimplez 4 Dayz, a nonprofit in University City that aims to be a safe haven for kids looking to escape the city's violence.

But recently, she found herself the target of the very type of child she's trying to help when donated items and money meant for the nonprofit were stolen from her car.

The brazen theft caught on the resource center's surveillance cameras.

"We were leaving out to go pick up some of the youth to go bring them to the center and I noticed my car was ransacked," said Richardson. "So I'm looking around and we're like what is happening?"

Surveillance video showed a young man walking down the block, checking car doors. Richardson says she had accidentally left her vehicle unlocked while unloading goods into the Dimplez Dreams Resource Center on the 3500 block of Haverford Avenue.

The center opened in late 2021, thanks to her daughter, 19-year-old Akayla Brown. Richardson helps her daughter run it.

The video then shows the teen going rummaging through the backseat and eventually making off with donated clothes and an undisclosed amount of money that was part of their weekly food allowance to feed students.

"If he would have come in, everyone in the community knows we'll open our door to anybody. We'll provide you with anything. If he had said, 'I need this,' I would have left and taken him to get food or clothing - any items he needed. But instead, he decided that taking was going to be the best plan for him," said Richardson.

She says she filed a report with authorities, but that she'd rather help that teen get access to resources than see him get a record.

For now, she's paying out of pocket to feed her students for the rest of the week.