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Clothesless kids

There are worse things in life than losing your laundry, but if you are a single mother raising two children, a grandchild and four nieces and nephews, having most of your family’s clothes stolen is a considerable setback.

This week, Grass Valley resident Crystal Delgado found herself in that unexpected and difficult position. On Monday, Delgado left 10 loads – most of the children’s clothes – to dry at Glenbrook Laundromat on Sutton Way while her 10-year-old niece watched over the laundry. When the niece left the clothes for two minutes to call Delgado and let her know she was ready to be picked up, someone reportedly snatched everything.

“It was most of everything they wear,” Delgado said. “Socks, underwear, pants …



“I don’t think I could replace everything that they had.”

Delgado works two jobs, one at an Auburn convalescent home and another with an adult home care service. She is a single mother with two teenage children, one of whom has a 19-month-old son.




Since 2000, Delgado also has been taking care of her brother’s two daughters and two sons, who she said were effectively abandoned by their mother at a movie theater.

“She is a very generous person; she helps whoever she can,” said Delgado’s friend and neighbor Debbie Sanchez.

Once every three weeks, Delgado spends a full day cleaning and doing the children’s laundry. On Monday, she and her 10-year-old niece took 10 loads of clothes to dry at the Glenbrook Laundromat on Sutton Way at 6:30 p.m. The niece stayed behind to watch over the clothes and fold them before calling Delgado to come and pick her up.

Usually, Delgado leaves her cell phone with the girl so she could call her back as soon as the laundry is ready. This time, she said, she forgot to give the girl the cell phone.

At 7:30 p.m., the niece had all the clothes folded and packed in two large bins. But because she did not have the cell phone, the niece carried the bins outside, placed them by the front door and went around the side of the building to use a pay phone.

“It was just a matter of minutes,” Delgado said. “They had to have been watching her for some time.”

When the niece walked back to the front of the store, the clothes were gone, Delgado said. The alleged theft was reported to the police.

“This is all (of the children’s) school clothes,” Sanchez said. “Her son will suffer the most. (Most of all the clothes) he had except the clothes on his back are gone.

“All she wants is for the people to bring them back. I just feel really bad for her. Maybe somebody will feel bad for what they’ve done.”

___

How to help

To help Crystal Delgado replace her family’s stolen clothes, call the Grass Valley Police Department at 477-4600 or mail small items or funds to Delgado at P.O. Box 873, Cedar Ridge 95924.


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