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Thrift store installs security cameras to deter unwelcome donations

Published by Dan on January 11, 2008 2:07 PM

We've all heard the saying, "I couldn't give that thing away if I tried," right? Well, a Salvation Army thrift store in Juneau, Alaska wants to make sure you do, in fact, hold onto that thing. Fed up with late-night dumping of unwanted donations, the store has installed a three-camera surveillance system to monitor its exterior. Before the cameras were installed, store workers were forced to spend countless hours cleaning up piles of useless junk each morning, and the shop was being charged $500 to $800 a month disposing the unsalvageable items at the city landfill.

The new surveillance system actually cost the store less than a month's worth of landfill fees. Sure they could have argued that, because of litter laws, the fees weren't warranted, but without visual evidence, there was no case. Now, with the security cameras in place, there is. Unwelcome items appearing regularly outside the thrift store include decrepit furniture, broken household appliances, and plain old garbage. The surveillance cameras will help in identifying those who are leaving these worthless items.

The Salvation Army isn't being secretive about the cameras either. Bright signs are now posted in the store's windows alerting would-be litterbugs of the surveillance presence. Already, the system has proven effective, as the store front has remained clean since the camera installation.

Read more in the Juneau Empire...

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