SCRANTON -- Friends of the Poor, an organization in Scranton that helps needy families, rents warehouse space at Pennsylvania Clothing Recyclers on Rosanna Avenue. At some point over the past week or so, more than 40 air conditioning units were stolen from the warehouse. They were meant for the elderly and families in need this summer.
The warehouse is where Friends of the Poor stores the food and supplies that make it all that it is. The organization's president, Sister Ann Walsh, felt violated when she saw that the latest supplies to be distributed had been stolen.
Only seven of close to 50 air conditioning units were left at the warehouse. 41 were stolen sometime in the past week.
"This was a surprise today, a big surprise that we didn't expect because it's never happened before and we've done it for like, this is at least our third or fourth year," Sister Walsh said.
Friends of the Poor purchased the AC units a few weeks ago using money donated to the organization. It's a total loss of about $5,600.
"I'm so distressed to think that people are going to have to suffer because of whatever else happened here," Walsh added.
Sister Ann believes whoever took the units knew that they were there since Friends of the Poor took special care to cover and secure the units.
She also believes that Friends of the Poor is the only charitable organization in Lackawanna County that provides air conditioners to people in need.
"It's 41 families, elderly, who can't afford it themselves and they just won't be able to have it this year either," she added.
Detectives believe the thieves may be planning to re-sell the AC units. Anyone with information about the theft is asked to call Scranton Police.