Local News

Thief Takes Charity Donation Boxes In Johnston County

Posted December 17, 2004 2:30 a.m. EST

— Authorities say that someone is stealing money meant for a rescue mission from collection boxes in stores throughout Johnston County.

Six countertop donation boxes have been taken from businesses in Johnston County. The money in them was meant for the Smithfield Rescue Mission, which uses the money to buy food, clothing and heat for the needy.

"It just really makes you really sick that someone will stoop so low as to do that," said Margie Olsen, the rescue mission's director.

Since the countertop boxes have been taken, the mission has decided to remove all of them throughout the county so no more are taken. That is hurting their fund-raising efforts during the holiday season.

"We just want this disruption to stop so we can go ahead and do the job the good Lord has given us to do," Olsen said.

To make matters worse, someone is also posing as a representative of the mission to make telemarketing calls soliciting donations from local homes and businesses.

"It kind of scares us because it makes us wonder if people are going to trust us," Olsen said.

Authorities say they don't have any suspects in the crimes.