SALEM -- Witnesses have reported multiple thefts from donation bins meant for charity in Salem.
According to witness Gabriela Perez, thieves have been having a “free-for-all” at the Salvation Army donation bin in a parking lot off of Salem Parkway in North Salem.
"It was right in here, you know and they're going through the stuff," said Gabriela Perez, pointing to an area near the donation bin.
Perez drives by this parking lot everyday. On Sunday night, she says she witnessed a theft from the bin a second time.
"So the light switched and I slowed down and saw people back here and thought, 'Okay, they're donating,'" she said.
But they weren't. When Perez looked closer, she realized the thieves were taking donated items from the Salvation Army bin and the area around it.
"We donate these, we help people out. I'm sure a lot of people do and then to see this, it's just not right," she said.
She reported the first theft she saw to Salem Police in September.
Other Salem residents have also witnessed the thefts.
"Oh, people do it all the time. I can't believe they do it all the time. At night time especially, they'll go in and go through [the bin]. It's not fair," said Jackie Mussche, who donated items on Monday.
Leo Ronan picks up donations for the Salvation Army every day and delivers them to the main warehouse where everything is sorted.
"We have people that take stuff all the time, go through the office sights and take what they think they can get," said Ronan.
He said when that happens, it hurts everyone.
"The contributions that people give, they really help us out, they help the community as a whole," he said.
Greg Howard, spokesman for the Salvation Army, said there have been thefts and the North Salem location has been a bit of a "problem area" for the organization.
Salem Police asked anyone who witnesses items being taken to report it like Perez did.