Break-in at Ann Arbor Thrift Shop shocks, saddens organization's president
The president of the Ann Arbor Thrift Shop said she's shocked and saddened by a burglary at the store over the weekend, but volunteers are determined to not let the incident affect their mission.
Ann Arbor police Lt. Renee Bush said someone broke into the business at 3530 Washtenaw Ave. between 5 p.m. Saturday and 8:20 a.m. Sunday. A volunteer coming into work at the shop discovered a broken window in a side door at the business, Bush said. A fax machine and cash were reported stolen.
Mary Breakey, president of the Ann Arbor Thrift Shop, said there had been a few attempted break-ins in the past. The incident surprised Breakey and others at the shop, but she said she could understand why it happened.
“We are really saddened by it and shocked,” she said. “But, we also understand people in our community are in need and really desperate. And, in desperate times, people do things like this.”
The nonprofit shop has been operating since 1932, and more than 300 people volunteer their time to help out at the store. Breakey said the thrift shop donated $200,000 to people and families in need in 2012.
The Ann Arbor Thrift Shop gives monthly support and provides grants to local social service agencies while also helping individuals who need more direct help.
Breakey said potential intruders had previously targeted the side door that was the point of entry in this weekend’s break-in. Whoever entered the thrift shop and stole the cash and fax machine broke through a window with heavy-duty wire mesh inside, Breakey said.
The door faces another business and is not well lighted, she said. When the volunteer showed up to work Sunday morning, the smashed window was discovered and the police were called immediately.
“The police were excellent and arrived promptly,” she said, adding the door’s been temporarily fixed to allow the thrift shop to reopen.
Breakey said the incident was scary but could have been worse. She’s grateful no volunteers were in the shop when the incident happened and no one was injured.
“We’re open for business and it’s not going to stop us from continuing our mission, which we’ve had for over 80 years in Ann Arbor,” she said.
No suspect description was available from police Monday morning. Anyone with information on this incident is encouraged to call the Ann Arbor police anonymous tip line at 734-794-6939 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK UP (773-2587).