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A local business owner frustrated after teens steal from her makeshift food pantry

Posted at 10:46 PM, Nov 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-12 22:46:49-05

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — A local business owner says she wants the people taking items from her food pantry to stop.

The Lee County Plumbing & Supply owner, Dionne Lopez, claims someone is taking items from the makeshift pantry and they don't actually need them.

"It's a game. You know it's disrespectful," Lopez said.

She noticed one day after reviewing her security cameras.

"I just happened to pan through our surveillance cameras and caught a couple of kids in and out of the pantry," she said.

She believes some local teenagers took items from that pantry.

"I happened to be here one day after hours and asked them to please not take food," Lopez said.

She said they went back on Thursday despite her warning.

"I am taking it to the next level," she said.

That next level was a post on the neighborhood app, Nextdoor. Lopez said she hopes to put a stop to who's taking items that she believes they don't need.

"They are taking away from someone who actually needs it," she said.

Some Nexdoor users recommended calling the cops, but Lopez said she just wants those responsible to know how they're hurting others.

"It's not a game. This is people's money. People work hard to buy stuff and put it out here," she said.

People have continued to do just that. She said folks saw her post and dropped off items to replace those she believes were stolen.

"A lot of community people have stepped up and actually came today as a matter of fact and have donated a lot of food," she said.

Donations that especially matter during this time of year. Lopez said what's happening won't stop her mission. She plans to provide meals to up to seven families this Thanksgiving.