Hur­ri­cane re­lief do­na­tions stolen from NC col­lec­tion site

The Progress-Index - - OBITUARIES - By An­drew Mund­henk GateHouse Me­dia North Carolina

HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. — Thieves broke into a trailer overnight and stole about $500 worth of power equip­ment and other items do­nated by res­i­dents, busi­nesses, church groups and school chil­dren for a hur­ri­cane re­lief sup­ply drive.

A group of com­mu­nity lead­ers said the large en­closed trailer stuffed with do­na­tions was bro­ken into overnight at the for­mer Food Lion build­ing at 800 Greenville High­way. The group has been ac­cept­ing do­na­tions at the site since last week.

Or­ga­nizer Bruce Hat­field said vol­un­teers closed up shop around 5:30 p.m. Tues­day.

When they re­turned to the trailer Wed­nes­day morn­ing around 9:30 a.m., they no­ticed the locks on both the back and side doors had been cut.

Hat­field said the main item stolen was a black and yel­low Karcher pres­sure washer. He also no­ticed tools, wa­ter, food and other sup­plies had been taken, as well along with a pair of gloves to help with the act.

“They ob­vi­ously spent a lit­tle time tak­ing things,” said Hat­field. “We fig­ure at least $500 of stuff was stolen.”

Hat­field said they filed a re­port with the Hendersonville Po­lice De­part­ment, but there was no video sur­veil­lance footage from the closed for­mer gro­cery store to as­sist of­fi­cers with leads.

Hat­field said it’s dev­as­tat­ing to have peo­ple try and help the hur­ri­cane vic­tims, only for those do­na­tions to be stolen.

“This is go­ing to peo­ple that have lost ev­ery­thing,” he said. “For some­one to break in and steal from peo­ple that have noth­ing, there’s noth­ing good I could ever say about those kinds of peo­ple. You don’t want to wish ill will on some­one, but karma has a way of bit­ing back.”

The trailer still has more than $20,000 in do­na­tions in­side, or­ga­niz­ers es­ti­mate. The goods will be de­liv­ered to Bladen and Pen­der coun­ties, two of the hard­est hit ar­eas from Hur­ri­cane Florence that could re­ceive even more rain­fall from Hur­ri­cane Michael.

The group will still be ac­cept­ing do­na­tions un­til 5:30 p.m. to­day. Some of the items needed in­clude wa­ter, hy­giene items, pa­per goods, baby sup­plies, clean­ing sup­plies, mops, brooms, rakes, shov­els, canned food, soap, tow­els and chil­dren’s toys.

The trailer will leave the lot Wed­nes­day and be driven to the distri­bu­tion cen­ter in El­iz­a­beth­town Satur­day or as late as Tues­day de­pend­ing on the im­pact of Hur­ri­cane Michael.

An­drew Mund­henk is a re­porter for the Hendersonville (N.C.) Times-News.

[PA­TRICK SULLIVAN/GATEHOUSE ME­DIA NORTH CAROLINA]

Dan Hood, a cus­to­dian at Su­gar­loaf Ele­men­tary in Hendersonville, N.C., drops off do­nated sup­plies for hur­ri­cane vic­tims Wed­nes­day morn­ing. The sup­plies were do­nated by the stu­dents at the school, Hood said.

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