Thieves caught on camera stealing from a New Mexico thrift store that helps special needs people has sparked outrage in the community.
The nonprofit says thefts at the donation drop-off are not uncommon, but that it’s seen an increase lately, and it’s hoping to put a stop to it.
“It’s as is though they’re stealing from people who are less fortunate. Something that’s been given to help somebody else have a better life…then somebody just walks up and says, ‘I’ll take that,’” CEO Mark Schinnerer said.
Surveillance video of two recent thefts shows people helping themselves to donations.
One video shows a woman in broad daylight, grabbing what looks like a bag of clothes and putting it in her car before driving off.
The videos have been viewed by thousands, with people commenting things like, “shameful,” “low life people,” and “wow, how sad.”
“Just upsetting that somebody would even think about doing that, because there’s so many other ways if you need it. Like you can come here and you could ask…they’d be more than willing to give it to you, but taking it…there’s no reason for them to take from a place that gives back to our community the way that it does,” said Haley Hayes.
“I don’t know the value of what they took, that’s not the point. They stole something that wasn’t theirs,” said Schinnerer. “Our program is funded mostly by Medicaid, and Medicaid doesn’t always pay all the bills.”
CARC has been around since 1973. It serves about 100 special needs adults, most of whom live and work in the community on Cherry Lane.
Schinnerer says the shop is just one of many ways the community can help the organization.
He also says the money made here adds up quickly and helps to pay for things like lift vans and new appliances and furniture for their homes.
CARC says it does report all thefts, big or small. Police have not said if they have any suspects.