Breaking News
More () »

'Just heartbreaking': Suspects caught on camera stealing from Port Arthur non-profit organization

Ring camera footage shows some suspects rifling through trash bags and others hauling away an entire dining room set.

PORT ARTHUR, Texas — Those over a Southeast Texas non-profit organization want thieves to know when they steal from them, they steal from people in need.

Cameras have caught suspects stealing from the donation bin at the United Board of Missions in Port Arthur. The crimes happened in broad daylight.

“It's just heartbreaking to know that people that don't really need these are coming and stealing from our community, because what comes to us goes back out," Director at United Board of Missions Debbie Perkins said.

The outdoor drop-off bin is open 24 hours per day, seven days per week. This allows those who would like to donate to do so at any time.

Unfortunately, the availability also leaves the bin open to thieves.

People at the non-profit call the thieves "frequent flyers." They said suspects stole from the Port Arthur and Groves locations.

United Board of Missions staff have put up “no trespassing” signs and even talked to the suspect through a ring camera. Members of the organization feel the thefts are making it tough for them to fulfill their mission of helping those in need.

Jay Keith is also a director at the United Board of Missions. He and Perkins said while they knew people were stealing donations, they did not know how much was being stolen until they installed new cameras last summer.

“Our stock at our resale shop had started to really diminish because of the number of stuff we were losing,” Keith said. “We're losing 80 percent of our donations. All of our donations go there to be able to be sold to support what we're doing here."

Ring camera footage shows some suspects rifling through trash bags and others hauling away an entire dining room set.

“Which would have brought us over $100,” Perkins said.

Keith believes those responsible should think twice before stealing from anyone.

“I will say, because the videos have been shared and the things we have posted online and on social media, four or five of the individual have been identified by citizens who have seen those things and called us or called the police to report them,” Keith said.

The crime could land the suspects in big legal trouble.

“Because it's a nonprofit, there's a law in place that ups it one degree for anything they do,” Keith said. “So if it's a class C, it's automatically a class B. Well, most of our thefts are probably class B, which makes them class A which could mean jail time"

The thefts are being investigated. Despite the crimes, the organization still encourages people to donate because a need is still there.

GET NEWS & WEATHER ALERTS | Download the 12News App to your mobile device     

CRIME STOPPERS | Submit a tip @ 833Tips.com   

CRIME STOPPERS APP | Download the P3 Tips App   

If you have information about a crime you could earn a cash reward of up to $1000 by providing an ANONYMOUS tip to Crime Stoppers of Southeast Texas.  

Call 833-TIPS (8477) or download the P3Tips App on your mobile device to submit your tip anonymously.    

Send us a news tip | Download our app | 12News “In the Know” Newsletter 

Also on 12NewsNow.com… 

Before You Leave, Check This Out