Tim Bird (front) and the rest of the clients at the Bridge Workshop bundled up for the weather before they left the workshop Tuesday afternoon. The coat racks were moved from the entryway to the main room after two coats were stolen from the workshop. Dave Mathieson – Amherst Daily News
AMHERST – Jackets belonging to clients at a centre that works with mentally challenged adults were stolen by someone visiting the facility to pick up toys.
“Somebody had come in to get a bag from the Christmas for Kids campaign and on the way out the woman grabbed two coats,” said Susan Thibodeau, director of the Bridge Workshop.
The centre was acting as pick-up point for the annual charity that donates to needy families in the area.
Thibodeau wonders why anybody would steal coats from the workshop?
“You’re coming in to pick up toys that were given to you,” she said. “I don’t know if they were for her or if she was picking them up for somebody else, but how low can you stoop to steal coats from a workshop for the mentally challenged.”
The coats were on a rack Dec. 16 in the entryway of the downtown centre.
“That’s where we always kept them, but I’ve moved them inside to reassure the clients that their coats are safe,” Thibodeau said.
Thibodeau said the Grinch-like move is troubling.
“The clients were very upset about this,” she explained. “They can’t understand why anybody would do that to them. They wanted to know who did it.”
Thibodeau, too, would like to know.
“’Hey look, there’s a rack full of coats, I think I’ll grab a couple of them.’ Who thinks that way,” Thibodeau said.
The coats will be replaced.
“People from the Christmas for Kids campaign insisted that they replace the jackets,” Thibodeau said.