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I love this board (why is everyone so quiet?) but I found
this post on the Living Below Your Means board.

Geez, I don't know if I should report the theft that happened today to the police or just forget about it. I already called the police, but they didn't seem too interested in taking a report and referred me to their Web site. (Only in California, I guess.)

Couple weeks ago, I received a post card in the mail asking for donations, saying the United Cancer Research Society would be in my area picking up stuff curbside this week and would I call to let them know if I had anything to donate. At first I thought it was a scam with a name like that, so I looked them up online, and it appeared to be legit, so I called.

Hauled everything out of my garage this morning: Two 19" Color TVs, a 4-head VCR, a Kenmore vacuum cleaner, and another 7 or 8 boxes of really good stuff, clothes, small kitchen appliances, etc, and put them out at the curb.

Around noon, I went outside to put mail for the carrier and saw two women loading up their car. I said, "Hey, are you guys with the Cancer Research Society?" And one of them said, "Oh, I thought this was stuff you were throwing away," and she promised to put it back. She unloaded one box from her trunk and put it on the ground and reached inside to grab another.

I went inside to get a pen and paper to record their license plate number. When I came back outside, they were speeding away, but I caught their plate number. They took off with a TV and a bunch of other stuff. So I called the police to report it, and they were so nonchalent, and I was breathing heavily, saying , "but they headed south on San Luis and here's their plate number," thinking the police would send a dispatch and a bunch of cop cars would surround the thieves, forcing their car to stop. HA, Only in my overly active imagination!

I recall one of the women saying, "Hey, I know somebody with cancer." But they stole the stuff anyway. How could they do that? I really don't understand how somebody can steal from a charitable organization.

On top of this, there were two guys standing outside talking when this happened. I approached them and asked if they could tell me what kind of car the women were driving:

"Ah, it was a Buick," said one of them.

The other said he lived a couple houses down and was also putting out stuff for the Cancer Society to pick up. So he knew the items at my curb were for donations and he did nothing while these women loaded up their car?

"Oh, we were talking," he explained, "We weren't paying attention to what was going on."

Well . . . how does that account for their knowing what kind of car the thieves drove? Welcome to the neighborhood, I guess. Where neighbors don't give a <expletive> about each other.

And he dared to shake my hand.

I'm just shaking my head.

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Elizabeth has gotten a lot of useful feedback at LBYM, seems to me.

For the record, any time we've taken anything substantial from a curb (like a desk, for example), we've asked the person who owns the house. But when we've left substantial stuff at the curb, people don't usually ask us if it's okay to take it.

Elizabeth clearly labeled the boxes with the name of the charity, and people started to take them anyway. Then she caught them and apparently went back in her house before they had finished unloading all the stuff they said they'd put back. Why she would trust people who could see big labels on her stuff (whether or not they could read them) to put it all back is beyond me.

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You left the same part out here that you left out in your original post - that you clearly labelled the boxes in large type as "For Charity: Cancer Research Society". That is a critical piece of the story IMO.

But they were still wrong for taking the stuff after you told them it was not free for the taking - whether they saw your labels at first or not.

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