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Special needs stand burglarized

Ogden, N.Y. - A farm stand called Homesteads for Hope on Manitou Road was burglarized twice in the last week. The incident has upset community members because it is run by young adults with special needs.

Chucky Brongo and Yvanka Lylak who are both autistic are part of the program. The two grow vegetables and care for them until they're ready to fill the stands.

"Everyday we work so hard to give them the quality of life and work and then to have somebody just take that from them it broke our heart," said Luann Brown, Brongo's mother.

Customers were trusted to use the honor system, and leave money in a cash box. Brown said the lock to the box was cut open and the money inside was taken.

Bushels of green and yellow peppers and tomatoes were also taken. Police estimate the loss at less than $100. Those upset say, it's about the principal.

"It's sad, especially with a situation like this when people feel like they have to take stuff," said customers Tom and Nancy Olney. "To be taking it from them, it's just horrible.

"Who would do this to special needs? You know who would do that? It's just so sad," said Brown. "It breaks my heart to know that these kids work so hard and someone just comes and takes it from them."

The owners of Maier Farms have donated vegetables so the stand can continue to run.

Brown now takes all the money out of the cash box, and leaves a smaller amount of vegetables at the stand when no one is around.

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Washington Times