PINEHURST - The Pinehurst Police chief is crediting a tip from the public for identifying the woman caught on security video stealing donated items at a local charity that had once helped her.
Heather Nicole Griffin-Martin, 39, of Orange, aka Heather Martin, has been charged with class C misdemeanor theft according to the Pinehurst Municipal Court.
Griffin-Martin had previously been a client of the charity and benefited from the generosity according to Pinehurst Police Chief Fred Hanauer III.
Hanauer released a security video last week showing a woman in a truck allegedly stealing from the Friends Helping Friends charity at 2112 35th Street in Pinehurst.
Hanuer received a tip shortly after the video was released identifying Griffin-Martin as the suspect according to a release from the Pinehurst Police Department.
Even though the value of the items stolen was small the police chief took a personal interest in the case because the victim in the crime was a local charity according to the release.
Hanuer located Griffin-Martin at an address in Orange and interviewed her about the theft which she initially denied saying that she was actually retrieving donations she had previously dropped off the releases said.
Further review of the surveillance video showed this not to be accurate according to the release.
Friends Helping Friends is a local non-profit organization that provides low-income families with clothing, furniture and other household items the release said.
The charity relies strictly on donations and their thrift store to help their clients the release said.
(© 2016 KBMT)