Lufkin's Goodwill location burglarized, money stolen from safe

Updated: Jun. 12, 2018 at 6:37 PM CDT
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LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Lufkin's Crime Stoppers released surveillance footage Monday of Lufkin's Goodwill being burglarized.

The crime happened last month, but the suspect remains at large.

It was around 3 a.m. on Mother's Day when Goodwill's cameras caught the suspect skateboarding down the sidewalk.

Once at the donation center entrance, the burglar, who was covered in all black clothing, allegedly picked up a brick and broke in through the right side door.

"I mean, I know that bad stuff happens," said Vanessa Hopwood, Goodwill's retail director. "People do bad stuff everyday. But, to come to a non-profit organization where our whole sole purpose is to help the community. It's just, why would you do that?"

In the video, the suspect made his way straight to a safe that employees say contained over $1,000.

"We are a non-profit organization," Hopwood said. "We do help so many people in the community. And, for somebody to come in here and take something, that we actually put that money back in the community is just sad."

The burglary only lasted about 20 seconds, which police say could be a sign of familiarity with the building.

However, Hopwood said she hates the position the organization has been put in.

"We don't have that kind of cash to be like, 'Well here's this,'" Hopwood said. "Our cash is you know here and there and everywhere in the community, so we kind of have to take from those to replace that cash. Most likely that's how it hurt us the most."

A month after the crime, Goodwill is still picking up the pieces.

"Safety has even been included with this," Hopwood said. "We've been more on safety. We got new glass doors, so they actually won't shatter. So, if they try to do it again it's not going to happen."

Still, employees are asking for justice for not only themselves but for those they help.

"With that cash that was taken, we could have helped so many other people in this community," Hopwood said.

Erica Cook, the executive director for Lufkin's Goodwill, said the stolen money equals 15 weeks of job training they could have given to 10 people with disabilities.

If you have any information related to this crime, contact Crime Stoppers at (936) 639-TIPS.

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