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Pair of thieves caught on camera stealing from Salvation Army Family Store in Odessa

Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 7:10 PM CST
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) -Police are looking for a pair of thieves who were caught on camera stealing a donated item from the Salvation Army Family Store parking lot in Odessa.

Unfortunately, Commanding Officer Luis Melendez says this is nothing new and has been an issue for the past six months.

Sunday around 1:30 P.M., someone in a red truck dropped a refrigerator off in the Salvation Army Family Store’s parking lot.

Not even hours later, a pair of thieves hop out of a blue SUV to check out the refrigerator and eventually hauls it away.

Melendez says issues like this have been taking money away from their business for months.

“Where it hurts us is the fact that the refrigerator was going to be cleaned, taken in and cleaned up and put for sale for good use. The income of our family store goes back to our programs,’ said Melendez.

The family store has added cameras and signs all around the building to hopefully prevent future incidents.

However, stealing isn’t the only problem. It’s illegal dumping too.

“Items that are dumped are like mattresses. We don’t sell mattresses so it becomes a cost of a lot of the larger furniture’s items that are really in bad condition and we have to pay,” said Melendez.

It costs nearly two grand a month for the Salvation Army to have its dumpsters emptied twice a month to clear out extra items that can’t be resold.

“For our employees it does it feel good to arrive in the morning and find garbage bags, bags that were donated all ripped up in items thrown all over the parking lot that could’ve been put to good use,” said Melendez.

The salvation army wants to remind the West Texas community to follow donation drop-off times so employees will be able to collect your donation and put it behind the fence to keep it safe.

Donation drop-off times are between 10-4 P.M. Monday through Saturday.

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