Abbeville police investigating items being stolen from ARC store

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Theisha Hebert, manager of the ARC of Vermilion’s retail store, said items have been stolen from the drop-off shed in front of the store.

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Hebert said she put up a sign in the door because thefts have occurred since November of last year.

Abbeville police are investigating several incidents of individuals stealing items from the donation area at the ARC of Vermilion’s retail store.
The store, located at 2325 Charity St. in Abbeville, sells donated items to help fund ARC’s mission of helping individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Many of the people ARC helps work at the store as a means of income.
Employees began noticing items being taken late last year.
“They received information that someone was stealing and reselling the items,” Abbeville Police Det. Leland Laseter said. “They contacted us and
surveillance was set up.”
That surveillance captured footage on Jan. 5 of a man who allegedly stole items on multiple prior occasions.
“In December we had a lady who came by and gave us the license plate of a man who was taking our things,” said Teisha Hebert, manager of the ARC retail store. “She told us he was selling the items at a garage sale and profiting the money. This past Friday, on Vermilion online buy and sale, under his name, were items I could identify as being from our store.”
No arrests have been made as of Wednesday.
“It is an open investigation right now,” Laseter said Wednesday morning. “Charges will be filed on anyone caught stealing from the ARC.”
Anything donated becomes property of the ARC. Executive Director Scottie Daigle said the group will work with those who accidently include items during a donation.
“People will call and we will return it,” Daigle said. “These are not situations like that.”
Laseter said the ARC recently set up surveillance, which captured images of multiple individuals. That surveillance will now operate at the ARC store 24 hours a day.
“We were able to identify multiple people stealing,” Laseter said. “We have several people right now who we are filing charges against for stealing.”
Hebert said it is frustrating because every item taken in can be sold to help those in need.
“There is a misconception that we as employees just take things,” Hebert said. “We have to buy items and there is a log we have to sign when we do.”
As for some of the items taken, the ARC may get some of them back.
“We are in the process of recovering some of those items,” Laseter said. “This remains an ongoing investigation.”

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