Thieves steal valuable items from thrift store that helps homeless families

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LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. -- A Lee's Summit, Mo. thrift store was robbed of money, electronics and jewelry Monday night, and now those who run it are trying to recover so they can resume helping those they serve.

The manager of Hillcrest Thrift Store at 3rd and Melody said when she went into work Tuesday morning she first noticed that her laptop wasn't where she left it. Then, she opened the cash register and saw the money, amounting to about $800, was gone.

The thieves also stole hundreds of dollars worth of donated flat screen televisions, jewelry and computer equipment.  Proceeds from the items was meant to help homeless families with their financial needs as they reestablish homes. Last year, the store helped 46 families find a place to live.

"We offer a 90-day program for families to get back on their feet after they've suffered a financial blow," said Gayle Brunson, the store manager.

Brunson says normally she has volunteers unpacking and pricing items all hours of the day, and she's thankful no one was inside the store when the thieves broke in.

The thieves also took the store's computer and surveillance equipment.  Volunteers were scrambling to replace it.

"It's sickening. How sick, you know. And someday they have to meet their maker," said Rhonda Pence, a shopper.

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