Midland Goodwill Dealing with Illegal Dumping and Stealing

By Abby Reed
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - Cashing in on charity. For the Goodwill in Midland, it's a big problem. Store officials say people are using the facility as a dumping ground, where they drop off their unwanted trash, which turns out to be stuff the store can't re-sell. However, some people are also pilfering through that stuff and stealing it.

"I think people are under the impression, that sometimes, the Goodwill will take anything," Store Manager Jesse Garcia, said.

Garcia says his store relies on donations to sell but they have to be worth selling.

"We try to take things that are in good repair, things that are re-sellable and that we are able to fulfill our mission with, in reselling it," Garcia said.

Reselling it is only one part. Those monies made as profit, go to pay for employees and keep the facility running.

"But what happens is some people use us as a dumping ground - 'I have a dirty mattress, I have furniture that I can't get rid of,' - so what they do, is they just simply come and dump it out on us," Garcia said.

There are two problems: the first, is the people who just drop off their stuff behind the store. The other problem, is that once that stuff is dumped, other people come and pilfer through it. It's a two fold situation - dumping items off after hours is illegal dumping. However, once it's dumped, it becomes the property of the Goodwill Store. So when people come in and take those dropped of items, they are committing theft.

It's a case of one crime, leading to another. Garcia says it's costing his store - in money, time and labor. He hopes folks who see either crime happening will let authorities know.

"Call the police, make a report, take down a tag, and let's see if we can't - as a community - do the best we can to keep this thing going," Garcia said.