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Burglars stealing from the poor | News

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Burglars stealing from the poor

NEWNAN, Ga -- Burglars are targeting non-profit agencies in Coweta County, stealing from people who are in need. There have been five burglaries at three non-profits in the past month.

The Coweta County Sheriff Office is investigating two burglaries at One Roof, a thrift store that funds outreach programs and a food pantry. "We work really hard to come up with the items that we have to help people with," said Derenda Rowe, One Roof's Executive Director.

On May 5, 2012, someone broke into a back door and stole a cash box inside the thrift store. Then on May 18, 2012, a burglar made off with a bag of change and broke into a candy machine after breaking in through a window. "We're just angry that someone would think its okay to come in our building and touch our stuff," Rowe said.

Rowe said it cost $140 to replace the broken window, more than the burglar took. She has surveillance video that shows a suspect wearing a green sweat shirt, blue jeans and a ball cap rummaging through the business.

Rowe wondered if non-profits are being targeted. "Five times in one month, that's a little bit out of the norm," she said.

Newnan Police are investigating three more burglaries in the month of May. Two of them happened at Bridging the Gap food pantry on Andrew Street. 

On May 9, 2012, police responding to an alarm at the agency found a hole in the back of the business. According to an incident report the burglar used a prying tool and forced open the sheet metal exposing the interior of the business. Nothing was reported stolen.

On May 30, 2012, someone broke into Bridging the Gap by smashing a window. Again, no items were taken according to a police incident report.

The latest burglary happened at New Beginnings, a thrift store whose profits help domestic violence survivors. "I was in shock because I didn't think it would ever happen to us," said Linda Kirkpatrick, the Executive Director.

Someone broke into the thrift store by smashing the front door window with a rock. They took a computer monitor and some jewelry. But again, the biggest loss was replacing the window, which cost $178.50. "We don't even make $178.50 in a week most of the time, so that's a lot to us," Kirkpatrick said.

Both Kirkpatrick and Rowe said the burglars could have gotten more if they just asked. "They could have come and asked me for food and I would have fed them," Rowe said. "They could have asked for clothing and I would have clothed them."

"I would love to know who did it and maybe ask, why," Kirkpatrick said. "We could have helped you if you would have just asked."

You can follow Kevin on Twitter @kgrowson


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