LUFKIN, Texas (KETK) — On Wednesday, the City of Lufkin sent out a press release with photos asking if people recognized the alleged thieves seen at local charities. They have been taking items from Goodwill drop-off locations and the Family Crisis Center of East Texas Thrift Store.
Lufkin police mentioned it has become frequent, and the same people keep going back to take from these donation centers.
“Reviewing footage and seeing what was going on noticed that in the last 30 days or so, we had more than 50 thefts at night,” Jennifer Autrey, vice president of operations at East Texas at Goodwill Central East Texas.
She mentioned how people taking from their large bins is also a safety issue. “A big concern to us is a safety issue, because we have individuals who are climbing into our donation bins which could be dangerous,” said Autrey.
In 2022 this location assisted more than 10,000 individuals in the Lufkin community. “We have generous donors, that you know, bring us their donations for the purpose of furthering our mission, and so it is disappointing when those go missing and we are unable to do that,” said Autrey.
“To these agencies, they do a lot of good for the community whether it’s helping assist people with jobs, or housing, or other financial aspects,” said Jessica Pebsworth, communications director for the City of Lufkin.
Ultimately, it’s not just stealing, losing donations impacts the community and these businesses.
“For the less fortunate so anytime that someone would steal from organizations like these it’s very disheartening,” said Pebsworth.
The best time to drop off is during store hours, to make sure your donations get to the right hands. The Lufkin Police Department urges you to know anything from the surveillance photos. 936-633-0356 or Crime Stoppers at 936-639-TIPS.