In at least three cities, Salvation Army stores are being ransacked. Police are trying to track down the people responsible for the rash of break-ins.
This week, two more break-ins were reported at southeast Michigan Salvation Army stores. Regular shoppers at the location in Southgate call it despicable.
"It hurts everybody, and I think it's disgusting. Hopefully somebody knows something, which they always do, but no one wants to speak," Leo Struthers said.
There have been nine robberies since December at stores in Lincoln Park, Southgate, Taylor, and Ann Arbor. Police say they have new leads to try and track down the suspects responsible but so far, nobody is in custody.
The latest break ins were sometime Monday night. Employees in Taylor and Southgate found their stores had been busted into and vandalized when they went to work Tuesday morning. This is the second time for Taylor, and third time for Southgate. Police say there's a common thread in the breakins where the thrives smash through the front window to gain access to the store.
Jacqulynn Idzior is the Director of Operations for the Salvation Army of southeast Michigan and says this is the worst crime spree she's seen.
"I've been with the Army for 13 years. It's the biggest rash of breakins I've seen," Idzior said.
Idzior says with all the money that's been stolen, along with vandalized property, the damages so far add up to $33,000. The money lost will directly hurt their adult rehabilitation center in Detroit.
"It really does hurt me very badly because I don't understand how someone can continually do this after all the money that's raised within the thrift store goes back to help the men and the women that are struggling with drug and alcohol addictions," Idzior said.
Extra measures are being put in place to keep the losses from growing any further. Both of the stores most recently robbed will have surveillance cameras installed by the end of the week. Security guards will also be keeping watch at all local stores.
Police and workers ask anyone who knows something to come forward. If you want to help the local rehabilitation center, stop by any of the 35 southeast Michigan stores.