Teen Arrested for Grand Theft at Goodwill Store

Andrew Anderson worked at a Goodwill store in East Naples, Florida, until he was arrested for grand theft. Anderson had been giving discounts to the poorest people who came into the store. The 19-year-old explained that he was trying to help those in need, inspired by the Goodwill, "a helping and giving company."

Anderson says he never knew giving discounts was wrong or even illegal.

"The intent I had was to help people, just like Goodwill says, we help people," Anderson said.

Andrew says out of the two weeks he gave discounts, not once did he put a dollar in his own pocket and he even offered to pay back the money that Goodwill estimates he gave away.

Store officials say none of that matters.

"Our stores are not around to give a hand out, they're around to give people a hand up by providing funding, said Kirstin O'Donnell, a spokesperson for Goodwill Retail and Donation Center in East Naples.

The store officials have a point. Several, in fact.

* Anderson was not authorized to change prices on merchandise.
* Goodwill's mission is employment programs, which are funded by the stores.
* Let one employee get away with this, and others may follow.

But there are other points to consider.

* Goodwill's merchandise comes to them free.
* Arresting a naive teenager is overkill. They could have just fired him.
* It's also bad for public relations.

The store manager estimated that Anderson gave away $4,000 in discounts in two weeks. Either that store is exceptionally busy, or the prices are very high. Would they have moved that much merchandise if it weren't discounted?

Four days later, Goodwill dropped the charges against Anderson. -via The Week

(Image credit: Flickr user Daniel Oines)


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Overkill. All they had to do was give the lad a talking to and if need be sack him. I imagine he felt he was doing the right thing, that he was helping people, and to land him with a criminal record for theft at 19 is in no way proportional to his transgression.
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Different Goodwills have different values on merchandise and different quality merchandise. It's based on who works there and who donates there. I know a few in my local area that I never bother with for the same reason, but others always have great, barely used items for a fantastic price. If you have more than one around you, you may consider going to one you haven't been to before. -Assuming you like thrift stores in general, that is.
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About #2, that makes no sense to me since every tax receipt I've ever gotten from them is blank so you can fill out the values yourself. In that case, they have no idea what value you enter on the receipt.
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