Donated clothes for stolen Tucson foster children | Crime and courts

Thieves targeted a clothing donation bin on the west side of Tucson.

On Feb. 24, the Spreading Threads Clothing Bank donation bin, located in an industrial park at 1870 W. Prince Road, was cleared of recent donations following repeated attempts to break its locks, according to a press release from the organization that donates clothes to foster children says.

It was the first of two dumpster burglaries last week.

The thieves then put their own locks on the donation bin, says Michele Wright, executive director and co-founder, who cut them and replaced them with sturdy new locks.

“I don’t know what donations they stole,” Wright said. “It’s just the most violent feeling. It’s good to have our donation bin close to home. Thieves really had to work to break in and for them to put their own locks on it is just not acceptable.

Wright filed a report with the Tucson Police Department, but there were no leads, she said.

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Wright said the thieves had been trying to break into the trash can for weeks, damaging it in the process. She spoke to the resort’s property manager who said the door locks were also damaged.

Thieves again attempted to break into the bin a few days later. Wright said he discovered the damaged sliding door on February 26.

“I had to buy extra locks and then added washers and bolts to try to stop people from cutting the locks,” Wright said.

Previous trash break-ins and vandalism cost the organization about $400, she said.

“It’s costing us a lot of money to buy equipment and repair the damage,” Wright said. “These are used clothes for foster children. They’re stealing foster children! It only makes things worse.

Wright said other nonprofits had to get rid of their donation bins due to similar issues. She is now considering removing the donation bin following the thefts.

spread the threads accepts donations of new and gently used clothing and shoes, as well as new socks, underwear, bras and hygiene products. They are also looking for monetary donations to help cover the cost of repairs and equipment to the damaged bin.

Elizabeth J. Harless