Lynetta McCoy has told the teenagers the ugly truth, but not the younger kids.
Instead, the smallest of the 50 or so children who regularly eat meals and receive tutoring at the Boys & Girls Club at Admiral Oaks in Annapolis believe that the club's recently stolen Xbox Kinect video game system stopped working.
McCoy, the club's director, brought her own Xbox from home for the kids to use on Wednesday. She's still unsure how she'll explain everything else that disappeared during the burglary of more than $15,000 worth of club computers, electronics and cash earlier this week.
"It's heartbreaking. We do so much for the community and we don't ask for anything in return," McCoy said. "It's hurtful that someone would come in and steal from these kids — the kids who need it the most."
According to Annapolis Police, an unknown suspect or multiple suspects stole the items from the facility, in the 400 block of Captains Circle, sometime between 12:15 p.m. Monday and 8 a.m. Tuesday. They left no sign of forced entry, police said.
Among the stolen items were 14 Dell laptop computers, a 46-inch Samsung flat-screen television, the Xbox Kinect video game system, a Kodak digital camera and about $150 in cash, police and McCoy said Wednesday. The total value of the stolen items was listed as $15,080, police said.
The club serves children and teenagers between the ages of 5 and 18, McCoy said. For $20 a year, each child receives meals, tutoring, and access to events and activities.
McCoy said the electronics and computers were insured, but the cash, which was being raised to send two students to the 2013 National Keystone Conference for young leaders in Atlanta next month, was not.
The total goal was to raise $800, McCoy said. But with the initial money stolen, it's "not likely" the club will be able to raise all of the funds, she said.
"Maybe we'll just take a ride to Philly," she said Wednesday, thinking out loud about cheaper options to reward the students.
Police also reported this week an increase in thefts from vehicles in the area.