Thieves Hit Local Nonprofit, Steal Safe

The heavily damaged safe and most of its contents were recovered from an alley about a mile from the store. (Photo by Rachel Cox)
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TEMPLE (September 28, 2012) ---Temple police are investigating a break-in at the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store on West Avenue D from which thieves took a safe that contained cash and important records.

The break in was reported early Wednesday after employees arrived to find that the glass had been broken out of the front door of the store.

After officers arrived, employees determined that the safe, which contained about $100 in petty cash as well as financial statements and employee documents, was missing.

Temple police Cpl. Christopher Wilcox said the alarm in the building did not go off until the police officers walked in after the thieves had already fled.

Police are investigating why the alarm didn’t activate when the front door glass was broken out, Wilcox said.

St. Vincent de Paul Executive Director Gene Deutscher said the safe was found later in the day Wednesday in an alley less than a mile from the store.

The thieves had managed to break it open and took the cash, but most of the records were recovered.

Deutscher said St. Vincent de Paul helps people in the community daily with funds to paying bills, rent and utilities, and offers them food.

"The sad part is that if they'd just asked for help we would have given it to them, they didn't have to break in," Deutscher said.

On Friday Deutscher got a call from the Belton Lockshop offering to replace the safe free of charge.

Ricardo and Steve Trevino said their father, who owns Belton Lockshop, wanted to help another local business after the community supported their store during a flood last year.

Deutscher said later this month the St. Vincent de Paul Board of Directors are set to meet and the issue of adding security cameras could come up because of this incident.

Investigators are asking anyone with information about the break-in to call the Temple Police Department at (254) 298-5500.