Group caught taking items from local donation bin

Posted at 6:28 PM, Jan 18, 2017

Theft is a problem charities and non-profits face. Public donation bins are often targets for thieves because the items stolen are hard to track and rarely get reported. But, when we captured a woman digging through a donation bin near the University of South Florida campus, a spokesperson for Goodwill said the act has only one name.

"It's stealing," Jennifer Fleming said.

The woman we captured on camera was riding in a newer model Jeep Liberty with three other people. They all refused to give their names, but tried to justify taking items from the bins.

"These people donate stuff. Then they (Goodwill) put a price tag on it and throw it in a store," one of the occupants said.

They're not wrong. Goodwill has a "hand up not hand out" philosophy. They put people to work in their stores and use the profits from the donations to fund programs for people with disabilities, rehabilitation for people with criminal records and affordable housing, to name a few.

"Last year alone I think we served more than 68,000 people," Fleming said.

Goodwill has about 40 donation bins in the Tampa Bay area. They also have several staffed donation locations. The bins are set out for convenience, but Fleming recommends people bring items to staffed locations if they are able.

The people in the Jeep said they're homeless and they deserve the items that are donated to Goodwill. They then went on a tirade, cursing and attacking our report.

"Hey, did you know that you're a piece of ****? Did you know that you're a piece of **** ****** ******? Why are you wearing make-up dog? Why the **** are you wearing make-up bro?" The occupants yelled.

The woman in the passenger seat got out of the vehicle and placed an article of clothing over the Jeep's license plate. She then opened a new pack of cigarettes and the group drove off.