Can and bottle thefts in North Iowa

KIMT News 3 – There are five locations in Clear Lake for people to donate their cans and bottles instead of trashing them. But over the past few months, the sites have been the target of thieves.

“We have had actually multiple thefts,” Clear Lake Chamber CEO Tim Coffey said. “The most recent being down by the Oakwood markets where they actually cut into the wires.”

The Redemption Center in Belmond had a similar problem just a couple weeks ago.

“I had set out a few bags and a few cans, normally it’s way more than that the majority of the time,” center manager Cindi Summers said. “But that day it was just a few, so when I came in the next morning I just parked right out there and you could definitely see that there was plenty of bags that were gone.”

The center has surveillance cameras, so there are images, but police haven’t caught the thieves yet. However the theft means they won’t be able to accept as many donations because they don’t have the room inside.

“We can’t stay open because we don’t have the room,” Summers said.

In both towns the money from the cans and bottles go to Fourth of July celebrations. But in Clear Lake, Opportunity Village also benefits.

“Our fireworks in our Fourth of July, it’s the biggest celebration of the year in Clear Lake,” Coffey said. “But equally important, if not more important, is the impact this has to some extent on Opportunity Village.”

Coffey says if this continues to be a problem, they may have to install surveillance cameras.

If you have any information about the thefts in either town, you are asked to contact police.

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