Thieves Target Donated Items In Wake Forest
Posted December 13, 2005 1:30 a.m. EST
WAKE FOREST, N.C. — The Tri-Area Ministry charity store in Wake Forest may be open to public and all the items are free, but some thieves are stealing the donated goods before they even hit the shelf.
Officials claim someone has been getting into the store's drop box -- a locked shed where donors leave their things --and taking what is inside.
"If it's locked and inside our box and you take it out, it is stealing," said Linda Rich, director of the Tri-Area ministry.
Recently, Rich caught a man red-handed inside the drop box.
"He said, 'But it's still free. You're going to give it away.' Yes, it is, but do you realize you're actually stealing from God?" she said.
Rich worries that if the thefts continue, the church-run charity will not have anything left to offer.
"People trust us. They come and give stuff to us in faith that we give it those that need it," Rich said.
Tri-Area Ministry is looking at added security measures, but an alarm is far more expensive than the ministry can afford. Wake Forest police are stepping up patrols. Rich said prosecuting the thieves would be a last resort.