Caught on camera: Woman picks through, steals donations to children's charity

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CUMBERLAND COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) -- A woman stole from Cumberland County children's charity, and she was picky about what she took.

"This is just greed and thievery," said Denise Melton, Executive Director for the Threads of Hope Thrift Store, run by the House of Hope charity.

Cameras caught a thief stealing donations at the Threads of Hope Thrift Shop, where 100 percent of the proceeds should have gone to the House of Hope for abused children.

"It hurts my heart to see people take things from children," said Melton.

Surveillance video showed the woman getting selective about what she wanted to take—things that people were expecting to make a difference in East Tennessee.

"People donate their items in good faith that we are going to sell these items or even give these items away to people in need," said Melton. "When they steal, they are stealing from the children and families that we help."

That's something Melton said she cannot even begin to comprehend.

"I don't know, I don't have the mind of a thief, so it's kind of hard for me to wrap my head around," she said. "I'm watching her take [items], but if she needed something all she would have to do is call us, and if we couldn't help her, we would find someone else that could."

Police have not caught the woman, but Melton said they do have a few leads.

If anyone recognizes the woman in the video, they are asked to call the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office.