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Why Steal from a Charity?

Driving through a parking lot in southeast Edmonton, I noticed this lady in her purple puffy jacket, rummaging through items, left for donation, at a Big Brothers & Big Sisters drop box. I stopped and watched her for a while, as she opened bags and pulled things out to look at them. She was throwing things on the ground that she didn’t want.

I pulled around closer to her, thinking she would stop but she kept going. Eventually I opened my window and asked why she was taking items left from a charity. She turned, looked at me and walked away.

This is not the first time I’ve seen people taking items from these dropoff areas. I’ve noticed people in fancy cars, dressed well, pull out step stools to reach in donation boxes all around the city.

If you need items this bad, I’m sure there are services that can help, please don’t steal from charities.

(Admin: Photographs were only posted because they do not show the woman’s face.)

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90 Responses

  1. Faye Segaran Faye Segaran says:

    When I drop off my stuff that I don’t want I don’t care who takes it and I for one would rather see someone take it for free then these so called charities that profit off my old discarded items … you dont know their situation .. do you not have anything better to do with your life then watch people dig through others discards

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  2. I’d rather have people take my clothes and use them as rags then see value village get hold of them

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  3. Part of me says good for you, and part of me says do you know her circumstances? Maybe it was her resort to find clothes for her kids, or shoes for the little one who’s shoes has holes in them. It’s really hard to judge when you don’t know their story.

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    • Jordan Young Jordan Young says:

      My opinion is I won’t be walking outside trashing the bags out looking for nothing if im not in need of anything right now. It’s fecking cold outside.

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    • Jordan Young Jordan Young says:

      My opinion is I won’t be walking outside trashing the bags out looking for nothing if im not in need of anything right now. It’s fecking cold outside.

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    • How do you know she wasn’t going to pick it up when she was done? Of course if this person confronted her she was going to just walk away!

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    • Amanda Kamps Amanda Kamps says:

      Yeah that’s all fine and dandy but just throwing stuff on the ground after? Chick didn’t give a shit, obviously. Someone that desperate wouldn’t be throwing things she didn’t want on the ground.

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  4. One time I saw this sleeping on one of em…I took it home and it wouldn’t leave..for 6 mths! Last time I grab from that box…Knut Johansen Willier

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  5. Please put your donations in the drop boxes or wait till the pod opens. The people who leave stuff outside, just want rid of it.

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  6. Laura Love Laura Love says:

    There is a lady who got caught in a drop box partway and froze to death. I don’t recall if she was living in poverty or not?

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  7. I agree with Faye. If I don’t want it please feel free to let someone in need take it! If people are willing to take the risk of bedbugs, scabies etc. and dig through the snow just to have warm clothes they must need them. If this was a problem you would think the police would patrol that area or the charity would have it monitored. As we speak there are bigger problems going on in the city. Show some compassion!

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  8. If she does need help most Salvation Army locations will help. The one by me has a sign saying just to ask the manager on duty if you need an outfit or clothes for an interview

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  9. I’ve seen people do this during the yard sale season and sell the stuff

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  10. She looks very similar to a homeless lady I know. 😐

    I hope she gets what she needs, because if it’s meant for a charity… I hope the charity would try to help her.

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  11. Char Tipler Char Tipler says:

    “Just ask her” “when done make sure nothing is left on ground”!

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  12. This is why I won’t donate to the bins. Plus they end up at value village. I’ll donate to my work place. Goodwill.

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  13. The poster needs to mind hosting or her buisness.. when your poor you take what u can get.. thats the idea of the drop box to give to the needy.. stop judging and mind your own fkn buisness.

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  14. Lisa Fedirko Lisa Fedirko says:

    TBH many people that take from these bins then sell them on the buy and sell sites….
    not because they need the items. Because they want/need the money.

    I don’t care if they take it – just prefer if they clean up after themselves. No need to litter

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  15. Lionel Bird Lionel Bird says:

    “Charity” I don’t support these organizations. They take in free clothes and in many cases over price them. Nothing should be over $5. But the sad reality is most second hand items are priced based on the brand name and retail value. The owners of value village, goodwill etc… are all living the life with millions and millions of dollars profited from donations.

    The real thieves are the organizations.

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  16. I just read online that stealing from the bins is illegal but taking items left outside the bins is a grey area. Items inside the bin belong to the charity, items outside have no ownership. If you’re concerned where your items end up, don’t leave them outside the bin.

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  17. She was walking? Maybe she needed a warm coat. You know nothing of her circumstances.

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  18. Omg get a life … how do you know that she didn’t need a warm jacket or sweater .. Its fuxken cold out !
    Wow some people worry about all the wrong shit …

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  19. Ryan Mclean Ryan Mclean says:

    Meh charities are usually a scam anyway. Better than breaking into cars and houses to get what she needs. Even if she’s selling them who cares.

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  20. People have been doing this for year settle e
    Down the charity doors are not gonna close lol

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  21. Mj Mank Mj Mank says:

    May or not be theft. Is there a sign that says according to bylaw. …..stating it would be theft? AH JUS SAYING IF IT IS NOT THEFT.. then live and let live no?

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  22. Who cares people do this everyday why embarass this lady by posting her photo

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  23. What annoys me is not that they go through everything but that they treat what they don’t want as trash. I use to work in a Thrift Store and we lost a lot of items to snow and rain and mud because people went through the bags and threw everything they didn’t want on the ground. That made it useless to the charity and to people that could have used that item.

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  24. Doug Barrett Doug Barrett says:

    We donate all the time to thrift stores and once I give it up, then the hope is that it helps someone. I know many of the charities are no longer using outdoor boxes because people drop off stuff that should go to the junk yard and it costs more to get rid of it than they benifit from it. I have given to the shelters downtown when it is clothes and know it is appreciated. If someone needs it that bad then desperate people will do anything to look after there family, I wake up every morning feeling lucky that i am not one of those. But as others I would do anything to make sure my family served so who am I to critisize without knowing the facts.

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  25. Who gives a shit??
    Did YOU want that stuff?
    Never mind then.
    If someone is rummaging in bins in the night, they have their reasons and you don’t need to trouble yourself.

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    • And really.
      Stealing from charities? Charities sell the stuff back to poor people. Who cares if they get it now or after it gets a price tag?

      It doesn’t matter if someone has a nice car or seems well off.
      You don’t have any idea what’s going on in their lives.
      Maybe they LIVE in their nice car because they can choose driving to work or paying rent.

      And taking pictures of someone like this without knowing if they’re the exact person that stuff was donated to help out is a horrible dick move.
      How humiliating.
      🙁

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    • Why so defensive? Maybe you are the person he’s talking about

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    • Maybe I am.
      Fight me?

      But seriously. I’m defensive because this woman can’t be. She’s been slagged online where she can’t defend herself, or is too afraid to.

      It makes me sick to think people are this careless.

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    • Haha Kay we don’t have to fight.

      But that’s my point right there.
      People donate their unwanted things, someone with a leased warehouse sells it back to poor people for profit – or cash privileged people for a bargain. Who actually gives a shit if someone gets something for free.

      Personally, I take my donations to the George Spady downtown where things are handed out to people in desperate need and crisis at no cost to themselves.
      Imagine taking pictures of those same people lined up outside a shelter and posting it on the internet?
      It’s fucking heartless.

      Maybe the OP could have driven up and offered a free coffee roll up the rim, or minded their own business and drove on by.

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    • Shaun Coady Shaun Coady says:

      Let’s go whalers

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    • good Ole days hey shaun lol

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    • Shaun Coady Shaun Coady says:

      Haha yah buddy !

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  26. Not that what this lady is doing is ok, but don’t leave your donations outside of the donation box.

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  27. I’ve seen this too. If someone needs the stuff fine take it, but seriously, throwing items on the ground is terrible. Those items would have to be thrown out.

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  28. I’d only show them if they did show that bitch’s ugly face

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  29. I often see people rummaging through dumpsters and donation boxes. I don’t really worry about what they are taking, but there are some who literally throw things all over the ground. I live in a complex with dumpsters, and at least twice a week I see trash bags ripped open and the contents scattered throughout the parking lot. I have no sympathy for the people that make a mess behind them.

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  30. they are too lazy to go down to the store.

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  31. I would have shown the woman’s face and license plate number!!!

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  32. Kim Elliott Kim Elliott says:

    Value Village is a HUGE OFFENDER! They are the ones that have boxes all over and also call your home stating they are collecting for THE KIDNEY FOUNDATION or DIABETES FOUNDATION. Legally they can say they are, because only .02% of the earnings go to these foundations. The rest…!!?!?!?!? is of the money that is made from people DONATING.. is going to a billionaire named William Ellison. He lives in San Francisco. DON’T DONATE TO OR SHOP VALUE VILLAGE! >.<

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  33. I’ve seen a whole family rummaging through bags of items that were left at the Donation bins by Canadian Tire at Millwoods Town Center.

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  34. “charity” is only a marketing term.

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  35. Good for you for confronting her!

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  36. Tannis Fong Tannis Fong says:

    This is actually theft. If you see this happening, please call the police (maybe more so on the people in cars?)

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  37. There may be some that say this isn’t a big deal, and if someone is trying to get a sweater or jacket to stay warm for the night, then it probably isn’t. However, this is still theft. Ask the lady that ran a second hand store at the opposite end of the strip mall where the Value Village in the westend was located if its considered theft. She continuously stocked her store by stealing left donations.

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  38. This is by my house and every time I’m in that parking lot I always see her walking away from the bin with bags of stuff not knowing where she actually came from. (I’ve never seen her in the bin) This is a common occurrence for her!! But honestly unless she’s actually homeless which I’ve never seen any around here, my guess is she has a house around here

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