Thieves rip wires from charity's building

EUGENE, Ore. - St. Vincent de Paul was hit by theft at two of its facilities over the weekend, costing the nonprofit thousands of dollars.

Charley Harvey, a manager at St. Vincent de Paul, says the theft at their Lindholm Service Center on Highway 99 in Eugene happened Friday night or early Saturday morning.

"The cooler wasn't working and some other things weren't right," Harvey said. "We didn't have phone and we didn't have Internet, so we kinda came back here and discovered all of this."

Copper wire was cut out of electrical lines, air conditioning units and communication lines in the back of the building, according to Harvey. Some breaker boxes were pulled off the walls and the wiring pulled out of them.

"Somebody does this to an agency that is trying to help people, costing us several thousand dollars to try and repair all of this," Harvey said.

A service van at another St. Vincent de Paul location was also broken into over the weekend, according to Harvey. He says some tools were taken but he is not sure if the two incidences are related.

The thieves cut power to the freezer, and four pallets of food had to be removed. Food for Lane County is storing it at their facility.

"We do a lot of things back and forth for each other when the need arises so when they called us on Saturday and said we have this problem we were more than happy to come down and open up the warehouse so they can bring that here," said Dawn Marie Woodward, events coordinator for Food For Lane County.

St. Vincent de Paul is working to repair the wiring. Workers were without phones and internet Monday, but Harvey says it's the people who receive food boxes who are the most affected by the theft.

"We don't have any meat or protein that we can give out. We have got a little bit of tuna and some other things but normally we have some meat but without having a freezer we don't have that available to give away in our food boxes," Harvey said.

St. Vincent plans on fencing off the area to prevent future copper thefts.

Eugene Police do not have any leads in the case and ask that you contact them if you saw anything suspicous.