• Last modified 2615 days ago (Feb. 22, 2012)


Thift shop hit by thieves

Staff writer

St. Luke Hospital Auxiliary Shoppe in Marion is restricting drop-off times for donations in the wake of a recent theft of items from the loading dock behind the shop.

“We have always said you can leave it on the dock anytime and someone will take it in,” store manager Rosemary Garrard said. “We’re going to have to limit our hours to donate to just Fridays and Saturdays when we’re here.”

Isolated incidents have occurred before, but the latest incident occurred Feb. 5, Garrard said. An individual observed a pickup truck pull into the alley behind the shop and stop.

A woman got out, loaded two baskets of donated items sitting on the dock into the truck, and took a bag out of the trash container as well, Garrard said.

“There’s something in those baskets and boxes that is worth something, otherwise they wouldn’t pick it up,” Garrard said. “It worries us. We get lots and lots of stuff sitting on that dock.”

Garrand said the restricted donation times could affect the amount of donations the store receives, which could impact the revenue the store generates to support St. Luke Hospital.

“{We have people bringing things from Salina, from Newton, they send it from Kansas City and Wichita, so we have a large area that donates to us,” Garrard said.

“What they’re doing is hurting the hospital and the community. I’m just devastated by this whole thing, to think there would be people who would do this,” Garrard said.

When volunteers become aware of someone in need who may not be able to pay for something, Garrard said they provide assistance anyway.

“I don’t care who it is who walks in here and tells me they need a coat, I’ll say let’s go find you a coat — isn’t that what we’re supposed to do?” Garrard said.

A sign has been posted on the loading dock informing patrons of the new drop-off policy, which limits receiving donations to 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays.

Garrard said they will explore options to make donations more convenient in the future. One possibility is a fully-contained drop box.

“If we had something built up here on the dock that had a lid on it, I think that would deter somebody from coming up and getting into it,” Garrard said.

Last modified Feb. 22, 2012