Caught on video: Suspected thief swipes donation jar from thrift store

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Police are working to identify a man seen in surveillance video allegedly stealing a donation jar from Hope House Thrift Store on Wednesday.

Frances Ross, the store’s operational coordinator, says she left the front counter for less than two minutes when video from behind the register shows the suspect walk up, put his hands on the donation jar and walk out.

“That was just like really horrible,” said Ross. “You shouldn’t take from anybody, but when you are taking from a charity organization, it definitely takes it to a whole new level.”

All proceeds from the thrift store support the Hope House Foundation, which provides help services to adults with developmental disabilities living in Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake and Hampton.

Police say the theft happened July 12 between 2:10 and 2:30 p.m. inside the store on Monticello Avenue.

Customers who drop money in the jar from time-to-time say they’re upset and disappointed.

“That’s pretty low life. He needs to go out and get a job,” said Susanne Grizzard.

“He might of gotten away from us, but he didn’t get away from God. God saw him,” said Lorraine Carter.

Ross say there was about $30 in the jar.

“Our donors and our customers are so loyal to us and they give from the kindness of their hearts to help someone else live a better life, and for somebody to just walk in and take something that was not theirs is bad,” she said.

The store plans to invest in a heavier donation jar that is bolted down.

Carter has this message for the alleged thief: “You don’t do people wrong even though you might not have. If you put yourself in the right position, you can have things. So, it’s the choices you make in life. That choice he took is going to take him down a dead road.”

Police say they are investigating the video but have not yet identified the suspect.

Anyone with information should call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.