EUGENE, Ore. — Copper theft shut down a local nonprofit that helps feed homeless in our community.
The St. Vincent de Paul Lindholm Center is without power in parts of the building, after someone stole some of the building’s copper wiring.
“The Lindholm Center is a community asset, and it’s a community asset that deals with a lot of homeless issues in the area,” said Terry McDonald, St. Vincent de Paul Executive Director.
However, this weekend, an organization that gives so much was the victim of theft. Thieves hit St. Vincent de Paul’s Lindholm Center on Saturday.
“I’ll be honest with you. I’ve never seen someone quite so thorough as these folks were. They knew what they were doing,” McDonald said.
The thieves didn’t break into the building.
“I think when we think of theft, we think of computers and jewelry being stolen, but there are other things in your home that are of value to other people,” said Sgt. Carrie Carver, Lane County Sheriff’s Office.
One of those things is copper wire, which is what investigators say the suspects were after. They found the alcove where the nonprofit’s freezers and air conditioning units are and stole all the wire they could carry.
“It doesn’t even need to be melted down. It’s usually sold by weight, so we are seeing more metal theft and copper theft in particular here in Lane County,” Carver said.
A crime that’s so easy to pull off for the thieves is difficult to rebound from for the victims. The Lindholm Center won’t be able to provide some of its food distribution services until its freezer gets fixed. Even so, the mission and attitude at St. Vincent de Paul is unchanged.
“My heart goes out to the people that did this,” McDonald said.
The staff at the Lindholm Center were able to salvage the food that was in the freezer the night of the burglary. They hope to be fully operational by middle of next week.