Local News

Charity Wants Thieves to Have 'Day in Court'

Posted December 14, 2007
Updated December 15, 2007

— Basic Needs Ministry in Johnston County relies on people’s kindness and generosity to donate needed items. But lately, the all-volunteer organization has been dealing with a Grinch or two.

Before workers can find space inside the building for donations, thieves have been driving off with donated goods, including Christmas toys.

Ron Still is the director of Basic Needs Ministry.

“I know we’re a charity. I know we’re supposed to be compassionate, but right now I’d like to see these individuals at least have a day in court," he said.

Joe Trotter owns some businesses next door. Sometimes, he said, the thieves pull up in broad daylight and load up their vehicles.

“We’ve noticed certain vehicles here more than once. In fact, three times this week,” he said.

The building’s surveillance camera caught at least one vehicle. A woman can be seen pilfering the donated items. She pulled away minutes before a deputy showed up.

Still said he has requested that extra patrols from the sheriff’s come around more often. He said it's difficult to put a value on the stolen goods, but he said they're probably worth hundreds of dollars.

Basic Needs started in 2004. It's located at I-40 and N.C. Highway 42. It serves residents in the Cleveland Community of Johnston County and in Garner.

8 Comments

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  • jynski1 Dec 15, 2007

    If the people needed the stuff, they would have been more than happy to give it to them. It probably ended up at the flea market. There is a special place in hell for people like that.

  • lizard Dec 15, 2007

    Problem is most of us "know" that it is stealing but the courts probably think it is redistribution of abandoned property unless it is put in a marked container.

  • lovecarolinagutters Dec 15, 2007

    I live about two miles from this place. I have been there before and seen all the things donated sitting outside. It is located behind some other buildings and I can see where it would be easy to STEAL the stuff, but there are other places around it that can see you. It would be obvious to other's that you are stealing. How about a little community watch here?

  • yeahright2 Dec 15, 2007

    I agree with stiffer penalties, but not just for stealing from charities. Theft is theft and a strong penalty should be applied across the board. I also agree those working for charities that steal from or embezzle from the charities need to be harshly punished too.

  • ladyblue Dec 15, 2007

    I totally agree that there should be stiffer penalties for theivery of charities and that includes the folks working at them, which occurs as well. I'm sure that a stiff slap on the wrist does nothing for people like that. I say they should be given a little jail time on first offense and that would deter this sort of thing. I hope those people can get other donations and fill in the gap for what's been taken from them.

  • egriffin8278 Dec 15, 2007

    While I believe public assistance is necessary, it doesn't include "self assistance to other persons' things." I believe there should be stronger penalties for those that steal from charities, places of worship, and other organizations that are there to better the lives of everyone. Frequently these charities are located in "bad" neighborhoods because the rent is low so the charity can do more things with less funding. This coupled with little funding for security breeds easy targets. I believe common morality is lost upon those that commit these crimes and the only thing left to do is to lock them up and try to rehabilitate them. We've got to start young though to help children of these criminals not to fall into the same footsteps by providing them a safe and socialized upbringing, and to learn right from wrong. That is where social programs, and places of worship are helpful.

  • grant Dec 14, 2007

    Doesn't sound like anything new to me. I was recently diagnosed with a bone diesease that requires 2 seperate surgeries and 6 mths on cruthes for both. I go to work in a lite duty position and edure pain all day so I can provide for my kids. The car overheats and I can't get it fixed. Im told I can't get diability unless I lay out of work completly for a year. So who get all the help? People who make a profession out of doing nothing, who else can take a year off and not except any kind of work they can get! They live off their "Babies Dadies" drive up in there "08 caddies" and take what they can for free. Nothing new here!

  • justme1090 Dec 14, 2007

    I live in this community and it makes me sick to think that people are stealing from a charity. The prices in there are not high at all. I wish they would give a description of the vehicle because someone will know the car or person and report them.
    Good luck to Basic Needs and God Bless!