Salvation Army says stolen coat report was mistake

By Evrod Cassimy - bio | email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - The Salvation Army says the disappearance of 300 new winter coats from its distribution center in Chesterfield County wasn't a theft after all.

A spokesperson for the Salvation Army explained that a volunteer took the 300 coats from an area where they shouldn't have. Those coats were put among others to be given away to those in need.

At first they reported to police that nearly 1,000 coats were stolen. Later that day they reported that only 300 were actually gone.

There's obviously a big different between 300 and 1,000 but the spokesperson said that they have more than 15,000 coats and it difficult to get an exact number at first glance. A volunteer coordinator noticed the coats missing the next day and called police.

After seeing our report yesterday we're told the volunteer who moved the coats called the tipline to explain. Today the Salvation Army spokesperson explained the mixup:

"How does somebody working for the Salvation Army go from moving 300 coats to a different area without the proper people in charge knowing what's going on? Well basically the logistics involved in an operation like this are a mess and you know things aren't perfect and what happened there was our volunteer, the person that was coordinating those volunteers had just stepped away for a moment," said David Worthy, Area Commander for the Salvation Army.

The incident is now apart of an internal investigation but law enforcement is no longer involved.

The coats that were moved to the wrong location were brand new coats and they were given to clients.

The Salvation Army is just glad they've all be accounted for and that they can continue to serve those in need in our area.

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