Columbine Memorial donation box stolen from Littleton park

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Signs outside Columbine High School (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

LITTLETON |  The Columbine Memorial Foundation has announced in a social media post that the donation box that sits on the memorial in Colorado was stolen sometime in the past week.

The foundation posted on Facebook that the box appears to have been completely removed from the ground with the concrete base still intact sometime between Friday and Sunday, KUSA-TV reported.

“This would have taken a fair amount of time, so we are hoping someone saw this happening,” the post read.

The box sits at the memorial in Robert F. Clement Park, adjacent to Columbine High School, where the worst school shooting in U.S. history occurred.

Former Foundation Board President Kirsten Kreiling said the donation box was donated a few years ago and collects funds that contribute to the memorial’s annual maintenance of up to $15,000.

“It had a double-locking mechanism, very difficult to get into, so someone was very intent on digging this thing out,” Kreiling said, adding that the all-volunteer board manages the maintenance and improvements for the site.

The board has not raised enough money for the site’s maintenance this year, Kreiling said. She also said the pandemic has caused a decline in donations this year.

“Since the 20th anniversary of the memorial, people have forgotten about it over time,” Kreiling said. “This theft is adding insult to injury.”

The high school’s former Principal Frank DeAngelis told KUSA-TV that the memorial is a time for reflection and that thousands of people around the world visit the memorial.

“It has a major impact for people who visit, so it really is disheartening for someone to do something like this,” DeAngelis said. “That memorial was built by people not only in the Columbine community, but the entire state. I think they’re all affected by this.”

Police are urging anyone with information to contact local authorities.