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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Spokane thrift store that benefits refugees has been victim of multiple break-ins recently

UPDATED: Thu., Oct. 14, 2021

Global Neighborhood Thrift, located on East Trent Avenue near Gonzaga University, has been burglarized several times the last month.  (Garrett Cabeza / The Spokesman-Review)
Global Neighborhood Thrift, located on East Trent Avenue near Gonzaga University, has been burglarized several times the last month. (Garrett Cabeza / The Spokesman-Review)

A Spokane thrift store and its two box trucks have been burglarized a handful of times over the past month, and the store’s executive director can’t comprehend the “crazy” crime streak.

Global Neighborhood Thrift, located on East Trent Avenue near Gonzaga University, is a nonprofit whose mission is to provide employment and job training to former refugees.

“Obviously there’s people who are having a hard time, but it’s frustrating that’s how you’re going about it, because we’re trying to help people out,” said Brent Hendricks, the nonprofit’s executive director and founder.

The most recent break-in was early Thursday morning, when Hendricks said a male broke into the store’s warehouse, tore up the office and stole two laptops and employee belongings. Hendricks said the male, who was captured on the store’s security footage, set off alarms and ran away.

Hendricks said he reported the incident to the police and he does not believe they have identified a suspect.

Hendricks said he is still trying to find out if other items were stolen. It was the second time in three weeks the building has been burglarized.

Hendricks said one of the box trucks was also damaged Thursday after someone tried to get into it.

Another truck had its fuel lines cut and the catalytic converter stolen from it in the past couple weeks.

Hendricks said the store has been at this location for about two years and was on the corner of Monroe Street and Indiana Avenue before that. He said the nonprofit’s trucks have been vandalized several times over the years. Someone tries to pry open the door of the warehouse once or twice per year, he said, but the last month has been the worst.

Hendricks estimated repairs and replacements from the month to be about $4,500, including up to $2,500 to replace one truck’s catalytic converter. He said he hopes the nonprofit’s insurance covers some costs.

People can donate to Global Neighborhood Thrift at gnthrift.com/donate.

Hendricks said he is hiring an employee to work night shifts, in part to secure the building and its premises. He said he will improve the building’s alarm system.

“We’ll at least create a job out of it,” Hendricks said.

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