Cameras aim to stop thefts

Published 3:00 am Thursday, September 18, 2014

The local Salvation Army is turning to video surveillance cameras to help thwart thieves, said director Kim May.

“We’ve had outside security cameras installed because we have a lot of donations left outside the door at times when we are closed,” May said. “People often have items to donate and need to bring them to the Salvation Army Service Center after hours. We greatly need and appreciate those donations. But, there are some people who undoubtedly think since the items are donated, they can just come by and take them.”

May said taking the donations that are left outside the building on weekends and at night is stealing and is taking money from those the Salvation Army is trying to help.

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“We had to find a way to stop the thefts of these donations and the best way was to install security cameras,” May said.

On Sunday night, cameras caught a man stealing donations from outside the center, and a report has been made to the Troy Police Department.

“The camera caught a middle-aged, white male taking donations that had been left outside the store,” May said. “He was driving a white, Dodge Dakota extended cab truck with an Alabama emblem on the right door. And, the right front bumper was bent.”

May said the license number of the truck was not visible to the camera but enough identifying evidence exists to locate and man and hold him accountable.

“We don’t know his name yet but feel confident that someone will identify him,” May said.

Anyone with any information about the theft is encouraged to call the TPD or the secret witness line with that information.

“And, it’s not just thefts,” May said. “Some people open the bags, take what they want and leave the rest scattered all over the streets. Others will grab the bags and take them off to go through them. They will keep what they want and bring the rest back. It’s just unbelievable what some people will do.”

Messenger Photo / april garon The Salvation Army location on S. Brundidge Street has installed security cameras to address recent thefts of items left for donation.

Messenger Photo / April  Garon
The Salvation Army location on S. Brundidge Street has installed security cameras to address recent thefts of items left for donation.

May said all donations to the Salvation Army are used to help people here at home.

“The Salvation Army is here to help friends and neighbors, but some people don’t seem to care anybody except themselves,” she said. “They think because something was donated to the Service Center, we should give it to them.”

To illustrate, May said a man came in to inquire about a bicycle that had been donated to the center.

“The bicycle was in very good condition,” May said.

“I had put $8 on it and the man wanted it for $5. I told him I was sure I could get $8 for it and his response was that he should have just taken it when he saw it sitting outside the store. That’s the kind of attitude some people have.”

The Salvation Army operates with funding from United Way, monetary donations and contributions, donations to the Service Center, Thrift Shop sales and fundraising efforts.