KILLEEN, Texas – Two Stephen Curry autographed jerseys were stolen in broad daylight from the Operation Phantom Support thrift store in Killeen on Thursday.
Operation Phantom Support (OPS) is a thrift store and food pantry dedicated to providing aid for veterans and military families. Still, they are not immune to criminals.
Two adults walked up to the display case, opened the door and tucked the two jerseys under their arms before walking right out the front door of the store. They were stealing from much more than just the store.
“You’re stealing from a place people donate items to so they can raise money to provide for people. So you’re basically stealing food off other people’s plates. You’re stealing Christmas toys from somebody. You’re stealing backpacks. You’re stealing birthday cakes,” says OPS CEO John Valentine. “You’re impacting families you don’t even know because you’re stealing from a non-profit. So it’s a little disgusting to me, and a little bit desperate to me. I think is the best way I could look at it. The person has to be really desperate to steal from a non-profit.”
Still, the robbery affected the entire staff.
“Somebody stealing from this non-profit, it was as if they wounded me by what they did,” says volunteer Nancy Miller.
Almost exactly 24 hours after the jerseys were stolen, the store got a surprise Friday afternoon. The jerseys were returned in a plastic bag with an apology note attached from the thieves.
“It just shows that even thieves can have a good heart at times and realize they’ve made a mistake and made a bad judgement and came back and do something right,” says Valentine. “So, it’s a good thing.”
The two jerseys combined are valued at roughly $1,000.
You can help Operation Phantom Support through their Christmas toy drive for the children of service members and veterans.