Thurston County church clothing bank targeted by thieves -- again

ROCHESTER, Wash. -- A Thurston County church’s clothing bank is at risk after it has been targeted repeatedly by thieves, first their clothing bank and now their surveillance cameras.

Rochester United Methodist Church members are concerned that once the cameras are gone, the thieves will try to get inside.

Susanne Hawes is angry and scared, after a thief struck three times in a week, going after the surveillance cameras at Rochester United Methodist Church.

“I’m personally worried about it because there’s no value to these cameras, except someone with that system so it might be indicating that he’s planning further break-ins,” said Hawes.

That isn’t all. They say earlier this year, a thief broke in through a donation shoot. Another time, you see as sheriff’s deputies pull thieves out of the church’s shed.

“It’s so ridiculous because all they have to do is come and ask,” said Gene Weaver, a trust trustee.

Church leaders say there were four cameras watching over this community closet, but three have been stolen. Now there’s only one left, and it’s damaged.

Damaged after church leaders say the thief tried to steal the camera off a mount, but banged it up instead.

“We have a lot of people in the community concerned about this, they get very upset that this kind of thing is happening because they don’t want us to go away,” said Hawes.

Church trustee Gene Weaver says the church opens the community closet to help others, so it’s unfortunate that thieves are instead helping themselves.

“Come and ask us for help, please don’t take our cameras, they’re expensive,” said Hawes.

We’re told because of all these thefts, the clothing bank will close in January in order to reorganize.