Duo steals from Samaritan Center in Ooltewah - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Duo steals from Samaritan Center in Ooltewah

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OOLTEWAH, TN (WRCB) -

It’s surveillance video that shows two men stealing donated items from the Samaritan Center in Ooltewah.

“This is a nonprofit organization and removing items from this area is a crime,” said Tony Dahlberg.

Executive Director, Tony Dahlberg could only watch from an app on his phone as the men pulled up in a pickup truck and filled it with furniture and clothing.

The duo struck just before 7:00 Monday morning.

Using that same app, Dahlberg took control of the store's PA system, hoping to scare them off. 

“So I was telling them to please not be stealing from the Samaritan center, that we are here to help the community,” said Dahlberg.

Those words didn't seem to mean much to the crooks. They came back for more.

“The second time they came since they ignored my verbal warning the first time, I set off a loud siren hoping that would deter them to make them leave the area,” said Dahlberg.

Dahlberg says the center works off a simple philosophy: "A quick nickel beats a slow dime." 

The center's prices are low. Dahlberg says the duo didn't have to steal.

“They could come in request social services and share with us what's going on with their life and we would help them if they qualify,” said Dahlberg.

Monday the center held its annual bag sale.

An after Christmas sale is slated for December 29th.

Dahlberg says a portion of each purchase helps the ministry provide social services to those in need. 

“When they take from us, they are taking from this community. This community has existed here for almost thirty years,” said Dahlberg. 

He hopes to recover the items, and send a message to the men who took them.

“I want those people to ask themselves: "Is this really the kind of person that I want to be in my life,” said Dahlberg.

Dalhberg is working with the Chattanooga Police Department to identify the men, who Dahlberg says were driving a gold F-150 with an Alabama plate, if you recognize them call Chattanooga Police.

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