INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- Multiple people were caught stealing from an Independence, Missouri Salvation Army on Sunday. Surveillance video captured the act.
A woman who lives nearby the store on 23rd Street, witnessed the whole thing when she was picking her daughter up from work.
“It just upsets me that people would do that,” said Angel Antill, who said she regularly shops at thrift stores. “People came from across the street, some were hidden in the trees and bushes. They go through stuff and take off with it.”
The Salvation Army reviewed surveillance footage between 7-8 p.m. and noticed many people dropping off donations and some people taking advantage of others’ generosity.
People in one SUV were caught on camera coming back three times, to get away with a table and other items.
“You can see there is an individual sitting by the light pole flashing a light telling him when to pick up,” said Major Michael Thomas, an administrator with the Salvation Army. “It’s definitely organized.”
A driver in a white vehicle also loads until it is full.
“When you’re taking, you’re taking from others. You’re taking from people in need, from people who are in crisis,” said Thomas.
The Salvation Army specializes in finding shelter for the homelessand recovery programs for those fighting addictions. It helps thousands in the metro each year.
It also helps those in emergency or disaster situations.
“We’ve all been down and low. Never would I resort to going somewhere and taking,” said Antill.
This store also deals with people dumping garbage or broken pieces of furniture.
To get all of that cleaned up last year it cost the agency about $30,000 that otherwise would have gone to services.
There are 11 Salvation Armystores in a 60 mile radius of Kansas City.
Thomas has said at this point they are willing to prosecute people who are caught stealing.
If you know anything about this incident, call Independence Police or the Salvation Army.