Thefts halt after-hour donations to Salvation Army

A series of thefts at a Salvation Army after-hours donation box has caused the organization to halt after-hour donations.

Before, people could go by at any time to drop off their donations, but due to multiple thefts that have been caught on camera, people will have to come only when it’s open.

Major Ed Binnix, who works for the Salvation Army in Port Charlotte says they are more than happy to help but it needs to be done the right way.

“It makes me angry. I’m willing to help people who are in need. The salvation army, that’s what we’re here for but um come about it the right way,” said Binnix.

Monday, they say a gold minivan pulled up to the donation box and two people loaded it up with stolen donations, including a large flat screen TV.

Another car pulled up behind them to make drop-offs, so they pretended they were doing the same. Once the car left they pulled back to the donation box and loaded more into the van.

“When people are stealing these items they’re actually stealing from the whole community,” said Binnix.

The money the Salvation Army raises from selling items at their thrift store goes towards funding the many different social services they offer.

Binnix estimates at least $5,000 worth of donations have been stolen in the last few weeks.

Some of the suspected thieves have been caught, but the Port Charlotte Salvation Army say they won’t re-open after-hour drop-offs until all of them are caught.

Below are surveillance photos of the theft.