MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A laundromat and resource center in the South Memphis area is looking at paying thousands in repairs after being targeted by thieves.
Inside the South Memphis Alliance laundromat on South Bellevue, its much more than a busy place for people to wash and fold their clothes. There is also a play area for children, access to free HIV testing, and pamphlets for free resources.
But a hole in the side of the building tells a different story.
Tiffany Turnage, the deputy administrator, said security cameras caught people running away into a grey truck around 2 a.m. Monday. The group tried to break into a reinforced back door. When that didn’t work, they rammed their vehicle into the back wall.
“Honestly, I was heartbroken because its not only a laundromat, its a resource center as well,” Turnage said. “That’s a lot of damage, so we want to ensure that they are safe and they are coming to a laundromat that they can be proud of.”
Turnage told WREG the would-be thieves were targeting cash machines, but she said they are dumped out every day, so not only were they unsuccessful, but they got away with no money while leaving behind a ton of damage.
“With us working with a population of kids in foster care or transitioning out, a lot of the proceeds go toward them,” she said.
Many residents often use the laundromat along with 140 foster children in South Memphis who get to use the machines for free. As they deal with the damage, Turnage said they are looking at about $15,000 to $20,000 in repairs.
“Its heartbreaking that someone would wanna do something like this,” she said.