Hampstead thrift store looking for thieves

HAMPSTEAD, NC (WECT) - The Hampstead Women's Club Thrift Store is looking for several people who have stolen goods from their donation drop-off over the past month.

Patricia Truscello, the club's president, said the club caught on that something was wrong after their donation amount dropped.

"It has been a great deal," she said. "We know that it has been a great deal because that outside area, especially on Monday and Wednesday when we are not open, is full. We know a lot has been taken."

The decline in donations forced the club to install security cameras, which captured at least two people taking donated good.

"What hurts me the most is not so much the taking of the items, but that the community of Hampstead is very generous to us," said Truscello. "They are giving us items a lot of which they could sell and make money for themselves, but because of where our money goes they give it to us."

The lack of donations means the club has a limited amount of resources to give to the community. Trucello said the thefts will have a ripple effect.

"It takes away from the community that we are trying to help," she said. "We are dedicated to doing as much good work as we can. We are all volunteers, and it means a great deal. When we write those checks to organizations who are struggling for funds, that is what gives us the joy of what we do."

Truscello also added that the club would offer help to the thief if they needed it.

"Most of all, I have no ill will or feelings towards anyone who does take things," she said. "I wish that if it is someone who is need that they would come to us, and we would be very happy to give them what they need."

Truscello said they've reached out to the Pender County Sheriff's Department, but that they hope the community can help them get a license plate number or an ID on the thieves.

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