A woman recently donated a TV to the Bainbridge Salvation Army, after-hours when the charity business was closed.
However, she then picked up a fan and a walker that someone else had dropped off, and put those items in her vehicle. She started to pick up a donated microwave but then put it back before leaving. All of that was captured on surveillance video outside the Salvation Army.
Bainbridge Public Safety announced that arrests have been made in connection with the thefts:
- Erica Jackson and Nathaniel Thomas were arrested and charged with theft by taking (misdemeanor) on 3/16/15
- Martha Murphy was arrested and charged with theft by taking (misdemeanor) on 3/17/15
BPS said the three arrests are from two separate incidents. Murphy is the woman accused of taking the walker and fan in one incident. Thomas and Jackson are co-defendants in another incident, in which bags of clothes were taken from outside the Salvation Army.
Major Robert Humphrey, chief investigator with Bainbridge Public Safety, said taking items donated by someone else to a charity is wrong because the property belongs to the charity, which will re-sell the items to fund its community projects.
Major Humphrey said there are signs posted outside the Salvation Army asking people to only drop off items when the business is open, Monday through Saturday. That request is an attempt to keep people from dumping items that the Salvation Army can’t accept, as well as to discourage theft of items intended as donations.
According to its website, Salvation Army is one of few charities that collect, process, and sell its own donations to the public. This enables them to offer quality goods at reasonable prices and raise funds to support many of its social programs. For more information, visit the Bainbridge Salvation Army website.