Burglar hits Bothell thrift store that helps people in need: 'It's just wrong,' customer says

BOTHELL, Wash. -- A Bothell thrift store that helps people in need here and elsewhere was victimized this week -- a burglar broke in and got away with just about everything of value.

"We had a bunch of jewelry displays up here and he took all of it," said Andrew Field of the Helping Hands Thrift Store.

Anything of value was snatched -- $2,000 worth -- from a thrift store that is trying to give back.

"We have a lot of work. We're trying to deal national and international and we run on a tight budget ... and so $2,000 is a chunk of money we could use for projects," Field said.

The thief broke into the store Wednesday morning. Surveillance shows him rummaging through the jewelry case. He also got away with handbags and Seahawks merchandise.

The timing couldn't be worse -- the store had just started a campaign to help finance a school in Peru.

"It's horrible, to be honest," Field said. "It's something we were working on and it just sets us back."

Customer Greg Spring said, "I'm holding back tears, it's just wrong."

Spring runs a local ministry and he gives out clothes to people on the street. Most of the clothes come from the thrift shop.

"When this place gets stuff stolen from it, it hurts people and it hurts people who need it," Spring said.

But people are now stepping forward to replace what was lost and help keep the nonprofit thriving.

"It's wonderful to have the customers come in, and it's wonderful to have the donations of jewelry ...  and to just get the word out there and share what we're doing in the community and the impact," Field said.

While police look for the burglar, those who wish to help the store can make donations to the Helping Hands Thrift Store on the Bothell-Everett Highway in Bothell.