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Ash Grove thrift store sees three break-ins over six weeks, leading to hundreds in damages

Updated: Jun. 6, 2021 at 7:31 PM CDT
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ASH GROVE, Mo. (KY3) - The Bargains and Blessings thrift store in Ash Grove has been a target for a series of break-ins, leading to significant damages and stolen items.

Bargains and Blessings manager, Linda Coble, says the store has been broken into three times within a six-week period, costing a total of over $500 in repairs, merchandise and petty cash.

”People that damage our store and people that take things from the store, they’re taking from their community,” Coble says.

This forced them to close up shop for two months.

“They had been here before, and they knew where to go to get the keys to the storage shed,” Coble says. “A lady had turned in a key to the door, she decided she couldn’t work anymore. They knew all that.”

The store runs on donations, selling clothes anywhere from $0.50 to $3.00. Coble says all the money the store makes goes back to the community, paying for things like water bills, medical bills or transportation for people in need.

“Little towns like Ash Grove, Everton, Walnut Grove, Dadeville, they don’t have the sources to be able to get this stuff,” Coble says.

The store is now adding extra security measures, like cameras and an outdoor light. The petty cash is also not left at the store overnight anymore, in the hopes it will prevent future break-ins.

“We would’ve given them whatever they were wanting,” Coble says. “If they needed clothes. If they even needed the petty cash and said that they were hungry or they didn’t have any money, we would have been glad to give it to them. Rather than cause all the damage.”

Coble says Bargains and Blessings has filed police reports after each break-in.

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