MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Police are investigating a Christmas crime that targeted a Twin Cities organization known for helping the homeless.
Someone broke in through a window of Small Sums — a St. Paul nonprofit — and took the resources they provide to the homeless.
Sometime after 5:30 p.m. Christmas Eve and when the snow fell on Christmas Day, someone violated the place hundreds of people have come to for help.
“Someone came with a gigantic rock and came in through this kitchen window broke it,” Small Sums Executive Director Terre Thomas said.
The rock exposed the storage area, where work shoes, steel-toed boots, and tools for barbers and mechanics sit — just some of the resources Small Sums gives to the homeless who have just found jobs.
“They also took some of the tools, so they could use them to break into other stuff in the office,” Thomas said.
With no one around, whoever is responsible took their time going through every office in the donated space.
“They pulled out all the drawers dumped them on the floor to go through everything, just looking to see if they could find some cash,” Thomas said.
It was inside the client services room that they hit the jackpot — a fire safe.
“They took one of our hammers and screw drivers and pried it open” Thomas said .
Bus and gas cards as well as goodwill cards used to buy clothes for those who need them most were taken. A laptop and two tablets were also stolen — close to $4,000 in resources, gone.
With less than a weeks’ worth of help for people who just found jobs, Thomas put out a plea. Small Sums now has more individual donors that can help people fight to stand on their own.
“We’ve already had $8,000 of donations back to cover the almost $4,000 that we lost,” Thomas said.
Small Sums only gets money from foundations, individuals and local companies. Being a victim has helped shed light on this 10-year-old organization.
Every year Small Sums helps more than 600 people and that number continues to rise. If you would like to donate, visit www.smallsums.org.