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February 18, 2014

Boxing club thieves took tools, equipment, dreams

The Northside Boxing Club’s break-in happened sometime over the weekend.

The Northside Boxing Club’s break-in happened sometime over the weekend.

Lewis Hernandez said thieves took everything he had along with many of the hopes and dreams of his team.

Hernandez, who coaches boxing at 1901 N. Market, wasn’t prepared for the total loss.

“They stole all my tools,” Hernandez said.

Hernandez said Monday he’s been a diesel mechanic for more than two decades and had stored many of his own personal tools at the gym. They were valued at $25,000.

Also taken was much of the boxing equipment, including new gloves.

But it isn’t so much about the missing tools, Hernandez said, as it is the 30 teenagers who he is coaching to box.

To help them earn money to attend boxing tournaments, he also is teaching them to be mechanics.

That’s why the tools were so important.

“Everything I had invested I was using to help the kids out,” Hernandez said. “I thought if they could learn a trade, the money they made could help them on our trips.”

In 2012, the club received national notoriety when Hernandez’s son, Nico, represented Kansas in the Junior Olympics.

Hernandez said Monday that he believes the break-in happened sometime after Friday.

“It is a bad thing,” Hernandez said. “A lot of kids come in here. We are just trying to keep this gym afloat and to keep working with the kids.”

Hoping for leads, Hernandez posted on Facebook about the break-in, pleading “To all the people in Wichita ... please, if you know anything let me know. Thank you.”

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