Thieves target metro nonprofit that helps disadvantaged

NEWCASTLE, Okla. - It’s a metro nonprofit that helps some of the most disadvantaged. But lately, someone has has been helping themselves.

“For about the past year now, we’ve had somebody, maybe multiple somebodies, that have been going through, and going through our donations and taking them,” said Shannon Kowals with Tri City Hope Center.

Tri City Hope Center runs off of donations and doesn’t sell items. The center has a donation shed outside — and it stays unlocked so people can drop off donations.

But on Monday, volunteers discovered that someone stole not only the items that had been dropped off, but other things as well.

“The shelves were missing and what was left was not usable. They destroyed — they had opened up bags, strew the clothing on the floor, and then when it’s walked on and dirty it’s not useful for us,” said volunteer Billie Sherga.

The center says the shelves were worth about $300 — money that could have put food in the pantry.

“What if you were and you had nothing and you had, you had to come right here? And, I think it’s wrong because they really need that stuff,” said Beckham Sanchez, who was dropping off donations with his mom.

Police have been contacted and the center is considering installing security cameras as soon as they can save up enough money.