Double Heists Hit Jamaican Thrift Shop

July 1, 2009 at 10:53 am | Posted in News | Leave a comment

jm-mapThe great thing about this story in today’s Gleaner, one of the top mainstream daily papers on the island of Jamaica, is its headline: “Bastards!” And rightly so. The headline refers to thieves who did an inside job on a local thrift shop:

“A couple of Saturdays ago, the staff at the Salvation Army’s Lyndhurst Road centre in St Andrew thought they had caught a lucky break. In the middle of a tough recession, when donations generally are down, they received a substantial gift of clothes and furniture from a family in Kingston. It took the staff two hours to unload the truck full of donated items. When all was done, the Lyndhurst Road centre had more stock than ever before.

“The Salvation Army runs a thrift store, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation programme and a furniture restoration business at that location. The items donated are sold at minimal cost and the money goes to funding these programmes. John Williamson, executive director of the centre, was heartened and his hopes for expanding the programmes seemed well within reach.

“But, late that Saturday night, thieves invaded the premises and made off with a considerable number of the recently donated items, including four pieces of furniture, a mattress and a computer. A staff member realised the items were gone on Sunday morning.”

As if that wasn’t enough, “they returned late Sunday night for more.” Given how much was taken, it is presumed that they came with a truck. And given that there was no sign of forced entry, the thieves probably had keys. This suggests that they are either current or former staffers or acquainted with current or former staffers.

The missing goods amounted to about US$1,688 or $150,000 in Jamaican dollars.

“‘That’s a big blow to us here. We could have done a lot with that,’ Williamson said.

“There is a watchman on the premises during the days, but none at night. There had been break-ins at the location before, but very little was taken. Williamson said there were no security guards working there, largely because that would cost a lot and would cut into the money the organisation has to run its programmes.”

I’ve been to Jamaica and have seen desperate poverty there. That thrift store was serving a population that really needed its help! … And … I’d love to get a look at that store’s vinyl-record selection. Vintage ska, anyone?

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