Lake Charles woman issues warning about garage sale thieves

By By Johnathan Manning / American Press

A Lake Charles woman is warning those holding garage sales to watch for thieves.

Kim George said she and two others were holding a garage sale in south Lake Charles when a shopper walked off with a 20-gallon tote full of video games and electronics.

Many of the items in the tote were being sold by George’s 15-year-old son to help raise money for church camp, she said.

“If I knew that it was for a good cause or if I knew that it was for a child that was underprivileged or didn’t have that sort of thing, I would have given it to them,” George said. “It was the fact that it was taken from me, and not so much me, but my child. That’s what made me the maddest.”

George said that the woman, whom she described as a middle-aged, heavyset white woman, arrived early to the garage sale, then asked to shop early, saying she wanted to look at jewelry and opening the garage sale early would help avoid a rush.

George said she had placed the tote at her feet because it contained Wii, Xbox and Nintendo DS games as well as Disney DVDs. She estimates the bin’s contents were worth about $100.

George said she was initially excited when the woman began going through the tote because it meant money for her son.

But after she was distracted by questions and haggling from other customers, she looked up and both the woman and the tote were gone.

“Next thing you know the lady’s gone with the full tote,” George said.

She said she doesn’t know whether someone else was involved, but “I wouldn’t be surprised if there was. I wouldn’t if one of the people I was sidetracked by was with her.”

George said she’s held garage sales in the past, but has never had any items stolen.

George said she has forgiven the woman, “but I want it to be known that there are people out there like this so it doesn’t happen to other people.”