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Donated clothes for Tucson foster kids stolen

Tucson Police, code lights

Thieves have been targeting a clothing donation bin on Tucson’s west side.

On Feb. 24, Spreading Threads Clothing Bank’s donation bin, located at an industrial park at 1870 W. Prince Road, was cleaned out of recent donations following repeated attempts to break its locks, a news release from the organization that gives clothes to children living in foster care said.

It was the first of two bin break-ins in the last week.

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

“I don’t know what donations they have stolen,” said Wright. “It’s just the most violating feeling. It’s nice to have our donation bin near our location. The thieves really had to work at breaking into it and for them to put their own locks on it is just unconscionable.”

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

Wright said thieves had been working on breaking into the bin for weeks, damaging it in the process. She spoke with the property manager of the complex who said the gate locks also have been damaged.

Thieves attempted to break into the bin again a couple days later. Wright said they discovered the damaged drop door on Feb. 26.

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

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

“This is costing us a lot of money to buy equipment and repair the damage,” Wright said. “These are used clothes for foster kids. They are stealing from foster kids! That just makes it that much 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 as a result of the thefts.

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

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