Hermiston charity house struck by recent burglaries

HERMISTON, OR.- A local charity is being plagued with constant break-ins. Thieves have caused big damage while trying to get into the Agape House in Hermiston. Because of it the non-profit may not be able to help as many people in need.

Dave Hughes calls the last two weeks a nightmare. His non-profit has been the target of burglars half a dozen times in just the last two weeks.

"People who are so desperate out there in this world look at all the things going on around them and say 'everybody else has things, I should have things,'" said Director Dave Hughes.

Staff tell KEPR that just last night, police apprehended another burglar rummaging through these here crates, they say if he would have waited the next day, they would have given him all that he wanted.

Police say that man was 33 year old Charles Cooley. He's a well-known criminal in Hermiston who's been arrested dozens of times. Cooley has been part of the revolving door that sends people in and out of jail without staying put for long.

"With the current situation they will just get their hand slapped and let go and it goes on and on," said Hughes.

The burglars have cut through fences and bashed in doors, looking for goods and stealing two chainsaws. The chainsaws are critical to the Agape House's mission to supply free wood for heating.

Last year they gave away more than 150 cords. They're concerned about next year if they can't replace the chainsaws quickly.

The Agape House also plans on adding a security system which could cost more than 15-grand. It's not what they'd like to spend their money on.

"You just pick up yourself each day you go forward, saying help one person today, I can do my job," said Hughes.

Agape House provides assistance and other basic services to anyone in need. They take donations from the public which can be distributed back out.

If they get a new security would include motion lights, security cameras, and an alarm to call police.