NextStep Recycling, Lane County's non-profit computer refurbishing and recycling center which refurbishes used technology to provide computers, education, and job skills training to Lane County's most marginalized populations, was burglarized some time after closing on Sunday night.
Eugene City Police are trying to figure out who stole the electronics. Any tips on used laptops being sold or pawned with Ubuntu Linux pre-installed, or with NextStep's inventory tags attached, are much appreciated. Call the Eugene Police directly, or Lorraine Kerwood, Executive Director, at (541) 686-2366 ext. 112 with any tips.
Burglars shattered the ReUSE Store's glass door. Many valuable items were stolen from NextStep's West Eugene facility. The value of the stolen hardware is still being calculated, but the repair on the door was close to $400.00.
Individuals, schools, and non-profit organizations who are served by NextStep grants of computer equipment will feel the sting of this loss. NextStep's newly-established Ubuntu Laptop Program, which refurbishes portable computers, installs the Open Source operating system Ubuntu, and provides significant income to fund NextStep's other operations, took the greatest hit.
Laptops and laptop memory were stolen, along with cameras and other electronics.
"This event is very difficult for our volunteers and staff. Our income has been drastically hit because of the drop in donations and the crash of the recycling markets. We are trying our best to handle these income fluctuations. This break-in has really hit us hard", reports Lorraine Kerwood, NextStep Executive Director.
All of the material stolen had already gone through NextStep's refurbishing program, so no hard drives with private information were stolen. NextStep takes great care to ensure any private data stored on donated computers is securely erased. Prior to data erasure, all hard drives are locked in a secure location. The laptops stolen were on display in the ReUSE Store, thus, no personal data was lost.
NextStep is looking to the Lane County community for help to cover this loss. NextStep is launching a campaign to purchase a video monitoring system for it's reuse stores. If you wish to help this unique non-profit recover from this blow to operations and morale, please consider donating money to help reach the goal of $6,000 by the end of the year to purchase the necessary video surveillance system for the West Eugene ReUSE Store, and the soon to be opened Springfield MOHAWK ReUSE store. If you have obsolete computer equipment, donate it to NextStep.