St. Vincent De Paul in Clarkston suffer donation rip offs

CLARKSTON, WA - The St. Vincent de Paul store in Clarkston is one of the many thrift stores in the area that helps those in need.

Without the generous donations from the community, they'd be out of business."

"Memorial Day weekend we were actually closed for two days so the donations got really large and there was quite a bit out here," said manager Sharon Berry.

One would think that would make store manager Sharon Berry quite excited, and that would be the case if it weren't for a huge, re-occurring problem. When the store is closed, people sift through the dropped-off donations and steal what they want.

"Unfortunately it's just been an ongoing problem," said Berry. "People just come and help themselves."

Berry said the worst part is that people take valuable items that could help the store. Like an old wicker furniture set Berry saw when driving by the drop center on Saturday. It was gone by the time they opened back up after the long weekend.

"It was really pretty," said Berry. "It would have been nice in the store and it would have really helped our sales."

There's only so much that can be done, but the staff at St. Vincent's asks donors to drop off their items during store hours to avoid tempting thieves.

"The big issue here is that we're all about giving help to those that need it," said Berry. "And if they really needed it, we would be willing to give it to them if they'd just ask."

St. Vincent de Paul takes the money made from the thrift stores and uses it at their Social Services center across the street to provide food, clothing and other items to anyone who comes through their doors. Berry said that over a period of three days, they'll typically see at least 100 people.