NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. — "Smile! You’re on camera," a huge sign reads, posted outside of a Bay Area hospice thrift store. It didn’t stop a man from rummaging through donations and then stealing a security camera pointed at his truck.
“It sounds pretty damn silly to me because if you’re going to go to that trouble why wouldn’t you look around,” said Rick Watson. "It’s a 5‘ x 5’ sign."
Earlier this month, Watson checked on the cameras he’s propped up behind Gulfside Hospice Thrift Shoppe when he realized one of them was gone. After he reviewed the thrift store’s cameras, they found a man climbing into the bed of his truck, reaching up and stealing it.
"I never use just one. I always have a camera looking at a camera just for this situation. If you’re going to steal from me I’m going to find you,” he said.
They also saw him sifting and sorting through donations left for the thrift store after hours on the loading dock.
"Most of the time people bringing furniture, wheelchairs, walkers, somebody in their family has died and they bring stuff here,” Watson said.
Although they aren’t sure if he took any of the donations, they say that store brings in about $30,000 dollars a month in sales all of which go to hospice patients that can’t pay for care.
"Gulfside supplies that money in that care to people that are dying. Not a good thing to be stealing,” said Watson.
He invested in the cameras to crack down on illegal dumping and folks stealing donations.
He says the truck seems to have a tire cage in the back, a yellow caution light on the roof and a black push bar on the front.
If you recognize the truck, follow up with the Pasco County Sheriffs office here.