Thieves Steal Money, Urine Samples From OKC Non-Profit That Helps Addicts
OKLAHOMA CITY - Thieves targeted a non-profit that helps low income addicts recover. It’s the third time in five weeks. It’s what they stole that’s truly shocking.
The burglars put some effort into this; bending back steel window bars at Specialized Outpatient Services (SOS) on Classen Circle to get in. Once inside, they seemed to know exactly which offices to target to get cash from a recent fundraiser.
“There’s an additional 20 doors they could have kicked in, so we definitely believe it was someone who had knowledge about how we do what we do here,” said James Patterson, Executive Director of Specialized Outpatient Services.
SOS suspects it’s a former employee who is possibly working with a current client.
You see, money and electronics weren’t the only items stolen. The burglars also stole about 50 vials of urine to be tested for drugs. They ripped the lock right off a refrigerator to get to the urine; possibly someone trying to avoid a positive test.
“Very high stakes. The people that we test, the clients that we have, many are court involved or probation involved, whether it’s on a federal level or state level, and a positive test could revoke their probation, it could revoke their sentence, it could have life changing consequences for the individual,” said Patterson.
Over the past 19 years, SOS has helped more than 60,000 low income Oklahomans overcome their addiction to drugs and alcohol through testing and counseling. They do it on a shoestring budget, so every cent counts.
That’s what hurts the worst: Knowing that the burglars are likely someone SOS has helped in the past.
“Yeah. There’s a great possibility of that. That’s the most disheartening part of this is that we were established to help people who needed us,” said Patterson.
Because SOS is a non-profit, losing that money is a big hit. If you can help them out log on to http://www.okcsos.org/donate/.