Lora Knowlton, a member of Columbine Memorial Foundation Board 0f Directors, first discovered the crime. “Its truly mind-boggling and disheartening,” she said. “It’s hard to believe.”
What she knows is that one or more persons went into Clement park sometime between the afternoon of Friday, Nov. 13 and Sunday, Nov. 15, and stole the memorial’s donation box. Knowlton said in the 11 years it has been there, this is the first time there’s been any issues.
“It’s a big steel box that has double security features in it,” she said “It was secured to a concrete base and they plucked it right out of the ground.”
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The description of the memorial on the foundation’s website reads as follows: “The Columbine Memorial is designed to be a place of peace, comfort and reflection remembering all those who were touched by the events of April 20, 1999 at Columbine High School, those who were injured and those whose lives were taken that day.” The Memorial was dedicated and opened to the public on September 21, 2007.
Jeffco Sheriff’s Department Public Information Officer Mike Taplin said there are no known suspects right now, and no leads.
"Someone out there knows what happened and knows who did this, Taplin said. "We need those people to call us and let us know.”
Knowlton said as a volunteer organization, the foundation relies on donations to help maintain the the memorial. “People come from all over to see the memorial and pay their respects,” she said.
For now, it’s unclear whether the foundation will install a new donation box. Knowlton said it’s always been a convenient way for people who visit to donate, but she’s not sure what the board will decide moving forward. The foundation has received an enormous amount of support from the community since the crime occurred, and for now, donations can be made through their website at www.columbinememorial.org.
If you have any information or witnessed any suspicious activity around the time of the incident, please contact the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office non-emergency number at 303-271-0211.
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