The director of a local non-profit is asking for help after thousands of dollars worth of electronics, children’s toys and clothes were stolen from her backyard on Jacksonville’s Eastside.
Princess Satra, founder of Children’s Health Education and Safety Society, said she was on a months-long mission trip to Africa organizing who would get the donations stored inside the shipping containers.
When she arrived home last week, she found everything destroyed or stolen.
Police estimate the goods were worth $38,000.
“Toys, shoes, books, bikes, use computers, we had a lot of food, at least four barrels full of nonperishable food items,” Satra said.
Satra spent nearly four years filling shipping containers with donations from the community.
“I just left from West Africa setting up where the containers would go, who would get the donations, what hospitals, what clinics and working with the customs to figure out how to get them released, and all that good stuff, just did all that research to come back and ship it,” Satra.
As the founder and director of a local non-profit for children, Satra had a goal of collecting used children’s clothing, toys and other items to ship to Africa for Christmas.
“They would be delivered the week before Christmas was my, was my goal,” Satra said.
But she came home to find everything was looted from her backyard. She said her chain link fence was cut open and the locks on the shipping containers were broken.
“Who would loot used children’s toys and books and clothes? Like, it was really shocking because most of the people in the community, they know what I do,” Satra said.
After talking with her neighbors, she found out that someone she didn’t know was lurking around her property.
“So there was a story that went out that he was my husband and that I authorized him to distribute or sell or get rid of some of the stuff that he owned the home with me and all kinds of lies,” Satra said.
Neighbors told News4JAX they saw a man taking stuff out of the shipping containers and selling them on a street corner.
“I saw a man, the first time I noticed him there was a van in the back. I knew she was out of town, and I asked him what he was doing here and he said well, don’t worry about it because I have legal rights to be here. And from that point on I saw him selling stuff,” neighbor Gerald Crews said.
News4JAX has reviewed police reports that confirm the story.
Multiple witnesses were interviewed and described seeing a middle-aged man with a mustache around the property.
The report said he was even seen outside the home doing yard work.
“I’m still trying to wrap my whole head around it,” Satra said.
Satra said she feels violated. She wants the suspect to come forward so she can focus on collecting donations and rescheduling the shipment.
“I pray that he is found, that he comes forward and explains what happened here,” Satra said.
If you want to help Satra, she’s collecting donations now and hopes to send the containers to Ghana in February for Black History Month.
Here are the donations that are still needed:
Children’s clothes and shoesToysGamesBikesElectronicsNon-perishable food
These items don’t have to be new. As long as they’re still in good shape, you can donate used kids’ items too.
You can call Satra at 904-614-6900 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org to coordinate a donation drop-off or pickup for the CHESS foundation.