Instead of picking up a free gallon of milk from the Southeast Alaska Food Bank, someone Tuesday took something worth a lot more — the donation box.
“It had been staked down and secured, so whoever took it not only got away with a couple-hundred-dollar storage box, but they also had to work really hard to get to it,” Darren Adams said on the phone Wednesday. Adams is the food bank’s manager and its only employee.
Adams described the stolen item as a heavy metal storage box that you might see in the back of a pickup truck. The box’s purpose was to allow people to drop off donations when no one was at the food bank and protect the food from birds and animals. It was located outside the front door, beside a grocery cart filled with milk.
“I don’t know if it was someone who happened to see it and figured, ‘Hey, that would make a great Christmas present’ or whatever,” Adams said by phone Wednesday. “It just kind of sucks though because we’re trying to help people and I want to believe the best about people, but whoever took it messed up in a bad way.”
Adams plans to look at the food bank’s security footage before reporting it to the Juneau Police Department. He posted details about the theft on a few different Facebook forums with hopes that whoever took it would feel compelled to return it.
“The flip side of it is the response I’ve gotten, which has been overwhelming. I’ve had people say, ‘If for some reason, it doesn’t turn up, let us know and we’ll purchase a new one for you,’” Adams said. “That’s awesome — to live in a community that’s that generous.”
Anyone with information about the stolen donation box — or anyone who wants to make a donation to the food bank — can contact Adams at 789-6184 or 209-7801.
• Contact reporter Lisa Phu at 523-2246 or firstname.lastname@example.org.