PHOENIX (3TV/CBS5) -- Every year, people across Phoenix pitch in to help Arizona families in need with the national “Stamp Out Hunger” food drive. But this Saturday, someone was caught on camera taking that kindness for weakness by stealing donations.
“It was the good food, too!” said David Hanes, whose family set out on their mailbox nearly $125 worth of non-perishables for letter carriers to collect during the food drive.
But before the mail carrier could visit their house, surveillance video shows a vehicle pulling up to the mailbox, with a person jumping out and stealing the donated food.
“So now we’re going to donate directly to St. Mary’s Food Bank because people just like taking stuff that’s not theirs,” Hanes said.
Hanes says they filed a police report after the incident, and that others around their neighborhood in the area of North 43rd Avenue and West Cactus Road got hit as well.
St. Mary’s Food Bank collects the food and says donations were down in the area compared to last year. They say the food thief and the person driving the getaway vehicle could be to blame.
“If food is your problem, we’re your answer,” said Jerry Brown with St. Mary’s Food Bank. “We’re not the place you should be taking from.”
Still, St. Mary’s Food Bank says they’re on track to collect between 375,000 and 380,000 pounds of food during the drive. They say that’s around 15% more than they collected last year.
“This is a drive that’s done in good faith by everybody,” Brown said. “By the letter carriers, by those who put out the food.”
So even if there are a few bad apples out there, Brown doesn’t want the thefts to give a bad taste to those who want to give in the future.
“We don’t want to dissuade anyone from doing this," he said.