Thieves in Raleigh steal backpacks earmarked for needy kids

From staff reportsAugust 20, 2013 

— Thieves forced their way through the front door of the Helping Hand Mission over the weekend and stole 60 backpacks earmarked for needy children returning to school.

No arrests have been made in the case.

The burglars also made off with the non-profit’s white, 1999 Silverado pickup truck, police reported.

“Apparently they located the [truck] key inside and took it from the parking lot,” police spokesman Jim Sughrue said Tuesday.

The break-in was reported on Monday just after 4 p.m. The wooden frame of the front door was badly damaged, according to a police incident report.

Investigators think the break-in occurred sometime between 10 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday at the Helping Hand location in the 600 block of Rock Quarry Road.

The backpacks have a total value of $1,000. The truck was valued at $10,000, police reported.

The Helping Hand Mission is a non-profit organization founded in 1972 by Sylvia Wiggins. The agency assists needy families with food, clothing, furniture and shelter.

The stolen truck had a N.C. tag: AJA-6088. The vehicle has a small dent in the driver’s side door, Sughrue said.

Police are asking anyone with information about the break-in to call Raleigh Crime Stoppers at 919-834-4357.

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