Vandals target nonprofit consignment store

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by ASHLEY GOUDEAU / KVUE News and Photojournalist MATT OLSEN

Bio | Email | Follow: @AshleyG_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on January 27, 2014 at 11:18 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 28 at 1:03 AM

AUSTIN -- Since 1959, Next to New consignment shop has donated $3 million to local charities.

"This is a place that does a lot of good," said shopper Charlotte Tucker.

Next to New is operated by Saint David's Episcopal Church.

"People bring in their stuff and we sell it for them for a 50-50 split. And then all of our proceeds, after our expenses are paid, go to local charities," said Next to New assistant manager David Fridlund.

But lately, vandals and thieves have been cutting into the charity money.

"In the past seven or eight months, we've had a break-in attempt. The front door was kicked in with glass all over the floor," said Fridlund.

It cost a few hundred dollars to replace. Then someone started siphoning gas out of the shop's delivery truck, night after night. Managers decided to park the truck out front, where they thought it would be safe. They were wrong.

"We've had the truck tagged. That happened late in December, and we just repainted it last week." Fridlund said.

Fridlund said the repairs cost about $600, and managers were about to dish out another couple of hundred to add the logo, until they came to work Saturday. The truck had been tagged again.

Tired of feeling helpless, the managers at Next to New decided to leave the vandals a little note of their own.

The sign read, "We're a non profit business. We give out proceeds to charity. If you need to express your creativity, please do it elsewhere. Start a blog or something. God bless."

"I wanted to do something to let them know who we are, because they probably have no idea. And I wanted to just incorporate a little bit of humor in it," said Fridlund.

They're using that humor to keep their spirits up while they hope the people who are hindering their mission will stop.

Next to New has a video security system, but it was unable to catch the vandals' faces. Austin police say they don't have any leads.

Managers at Next to New are hoping the community will start looking out for each other, because they are not the only victims of vandals. On Friday, someone used a pellet gun to shoot out the window of the Thundercloud Subs just one block away from Next to New.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Austin Police Department at 512-974-5000.

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