LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) – A Lakeland Goodwill donation center got hit by thieves right before Christmas and it was all caught on camera. This same spot has been hit by thieves before.
The Goodwill is a good deal for shoppers like Stephanie Harding. “Prices are really decent, and they have some really peculiar things here,” Harding said.
Thieves apparently thought those things were interesting enough to take. “That is really sad that people have to go and take things from you know industries that are supportive of the community. That’s really sad,” Harding said.
Cameras were rolling as Vontrese Anderson grabbed and stashed donated goods from the Lakeland store.
Anderson took Items that had been left in the donation drop-off drive-thru. Investigators said Anderson made several trips to steal.
“How low can you go?” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd asked.
“She’s on tape three times,” the sheriff said. “Frustrates me. It’s sensitive to us over the holidays, but it’s sensitive to me any time somebody steals something that belongs to somebody else.”
Anderson stole bags of clothes, a desk stand and other items, altogether estimated at a value of $900. That money could have helped the organization.
The sheriff is donating a different kind of outfit to Anderson. “We will give her some orange clothes that she doesn’t need to get from the Goodwill. We’ll provide them at the county jail,” Judd said.
“When people take things from Goodwill, they’re stealing from people who Goodwill could help get jobs,” said Chris Ward, director of marketing.
Polk County deputies said it’s not the first time bandits have robbed that location. Deputies said last month Jason Combess and Heather Blakely stole donated items from the same Lakeland location.
There is an active warrant out for Combess and Blakely.
All three suspects are charged with burglary and petit theft.