LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - In just the last week, someone has intentionally set fires in the donation bins at two area Goodwills.
Wednesday, October 11 a donation bin in Vernon, TX was set on fire and then on Monday, October 16 a donation bin in Lawton was set on fire.
The Lawton fire was caught on surveillance video. You can see a man pull up in a white truck. He gets out and starts to stuff clothes into the donation bin. He then lit some unknown object on fire and attempted to throw it into the bin on top of those clothes. After that didn't work, he tried throwing his lit cigarette into the bin, and that didn't light the clothing either. He then lit a third object and dropped it in, this time igniting the clothes in the bin.
That's when the man hops back into his truck and speeds away.
The fire was started just a few minutes after Goodwill closed and the donations had already been removed from the bin. Because the only donations that were in the bin were the ones put in by the man who lit the fire, the fire department was able to put it out quickly.
"That could have escalated into the building catching on fire, with that on fire there would have been a lot of people not being able to come to work the next day until the building was repaired," said Chief Financial Officer for Goodwill of Southwest Oklahoma and North Texas Rocky Goforth.
Although there were no other donations destroyed, Goforth said the man didn't know that, meaning he could have ended up destroying the thoughtful donations of those in our community.
"There are a lot of good people in the world, a lot of people don't want to believe that but there are. They want to do the right thing and the good thing and we have a lot of good people in this community," Goforth said.
There was also a donation bin in Vernon lit, though the cameras didn't capture as good a look at the man as the video in Lawton. The man responsible for that fire also drove a white truck, but officials are unsure of the two incidents are related. Either way, it's important they find who set both fires.
"If you know who it is you need to report it because the next victim could be you or somebody you know or it may create more problems for other people in the community," Goforth said.
If you have any information about either of the crimes, you're encouraged to call Crimestoppers at (580) 355 – INFO.