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Local Salvation Army burglarized

A local charitable organization dedicated to helping those in need was the target of a burglary and acts of vandalism this month.

Pahrump Salvation Army Pastor Jon Watt said freezers containing food items were recently broken into and raided by thieves.

“Our freezers have been outside for many years and somebody came in and broke the lock on one of the freezers, and stole about 200 pounds of meat products about three weeks ago,” he said. “We had chicken, ribs and a whole bunch of other different things. They also broke into a third one, but they saw nothing but bread and milk. They didn’t take any of the bread and milk because it is not really resellable. I think they just took the meat and resold it.”

Watt also said after the first incident roughly three weeks ago, he didn’t immediately call the sheriff’s office, until a similar incident occurred about a week later.

“I didn’t think anyone was going to find the crooks, so we didn’t report it initially,” he said. “We put a hasp lock on, and they tried to break it with a rock, but they didn’t get in. We called the cops at that point, and now we have all of our freezers double padlocked and we also have security lights and a security camera setup.”

As a result of the crime, Watt said he tried to understand the reasoning for the thefts at the 721 Buol Lane location.

“For us, stealing meat or whatever, is wrong because you’re taking from the people who are going to give it to you anyway, if you just came in and asked,” he said. “We try to take care of all of the people in the community including the homeless and low-income families as well as senior citizens. To steal the food from the people who are giving it away, just doesn’t make a lot of sense.”

Aside from the burglary, Watt also spoke about acts of vandalism at the Salvation Army.

“When they couldn’t get into the freezers anymore because of the padlocks, they took items from the dropbox and smashed them all,” he said. “There was a Mr. Coffee coffee maker and they smashed it into pieces. They go into the box and take whatever they want, and if they don’t like it, they just scatter it into the street. The neighbors around here rightfully got upset, because the street was a mess, so we had to go out there and clean it up. So now we are telling people not to drop items off at the box anymore. It would be better to just give us a call and let us know so we can set it up.”

In summing up his thoughts on the incidents, Watt talked about the agency’s main mission.

“We are here to help the people and all they have to do is come in and say they need something,” he said. “They don’t need to destroy things. When they are destroying stuff, they are taking away from the very places that help them and that’s where we are right now. There used to be a time when nobody would ever think about stealing from a church.”

Anyone with information regarding the crimes is urged to call the Nye County Sheriff’s Office at 775 751-7000.

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes

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