St. Charles Herald-Guide

Thieves target Social Concerns donations

By Jonathan Menard - September 27, 2013

Almost every night, Sue Candies says thieves pull up to Social Concerns in Luling and steal items that have been left for the charity.

The items include everything from clothes and toys to big screen TVs.

"We have cameras outside and we come in and watch them pull up and just grab TVs and items, put them in their car and drive off," Candies said.

Candies said the charity is now asking residents to drop off items during operating hours, which are 8 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. If the items are dropped off when Social Concerns is closed, Candies said there is a good chance that they will be gone in the morning.

"It’s happening every night," Candies said. "The police are always out here and they have made a lot of arrests, but it keeps happening."

Currently, residents pull over to the side of the Social Concerns building on Paul Maillard Road and leave items near the building. Social Concerns used to have a chute that people could drop items off at, but they had to get rid of it due to a safety hazard.

"People were putting their kids in there so that they could take items from inside the store," Candies said. "Sometimes people would drop off knives are breakable items, so we knew sooner or later a kid would get hurt after getting dropped in the chute."

Candies said it is also much safer for people to drop off items during the day. Recently, she saw a disturbing sight on her outside camera.

"A lady was dropping off items at night and a car pulled up and the man sat in his car by the dumpster until she left. Then he got out and took the items she had dropped off," Candies said. "Besides having people take the items, it’s just not safe for someone to be out there alone. We are isolated and there are woods behind us. You never know what someone might do."

While Candies said the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office is doing a good job of tracking down the thieves and arresting them, she is asking residents to be on the lookout as well.

"If you see someone taking items we are asking that you call (985) 783-6807 and the police can send a deputy out," she said.

Candies said it’s sad to see people take items that could do so much good for someone else.

"We operate strictly off donations. We don’t get help except from a few churches," she said. "All the money we make is used to help people. If the money is not there, we can’t help."