Local News

Police searching for suspects after robbery of Garner charity

Posted November 22, 2015 6:56 p.m. EST

— This time of year, charities are often asking for extra help to make sure all families can experience the joy of the holiday season but one charity in Garner is asking for a little extra help for a very different reason.

At Garner Area Ministries, bags are filled and ready to go for families in need this Thanksgiving.

“If they need food or if they need clothing, they come in to see us,” said volunteer Shirley Dangulei.

Last year, the nonprofit organization spent over $103,000 helping 838 families with food, clothing and bills.

“It’s a saving grace for them,” said Dangulei.

Now, it’s the organization that needs a saving grace. On Nov. 7, somebody broke into the thrift shop and made off with a stash of money.

“Unfortunately, there was about $4,700 in cash that they were able to get,” said Dangulei.

The person took money that could have paid for two months’ worth of food for families that depend on Garner Area Ministries. Police are now searching for a suspect.

“Obviously somebody walked away with [almost] $5,000 and so they have some extra money. Someone may know who did this and we’d like them to call us,” said Garner Police Lt. Joe Binns “To think about someone actually breaking into a business whose whole purpose is to help people is unfathomable sometimes.”

In a place that works to meet the needs of the community, Dangulei said this crime didn’t need to happen because if somebody really needed the money that badly, the organization would have helped them out.

“How could someone be that low that they have to steal from a charity organization that is providing food and clothing and the basic needs,” said Dangulei.

For now, Garner Area Ministries is operating on reserve funds to help meet the needs of the families in the area. The organization has created a Go Fund Me page to help replace the money that was stolen.