2014.08.06 Diane Tuckerman: Garage sales

After a 35-year career in social work in Lenawee County, I am well aware of people doing desperate activities just to survive or feed their families. But at the Morenci city-wide garage sales in July, I had my eyes opened to yet another form of mischief that seems to have been only for the sport of it. Quite a few items were stolen from our garage sale. I was dumbfounded! Here in Morenci? A garage sale?

The day was meant to be a busy time for my family and I to have fun, reconnect with neighbors, and clean out some treasures accumulated around the house, but it turned out to have a sour note attached to it.

The individual with sticky fingers had his technique down. He would pick up a few Play Station or Wii games or DVD movies and pretend he was deciding what to purchase, then make a quick get-away to his car with the handful of games or movies when a crowd came up to the sale. A family member hollered at him as he was quickly exiting, but he moved too fast—a smooth operator. We were not looking for this, so he got away with it.

I am writing this so folks at future garage sales can be aware of this. I will not have any more sales myself; it sucked the fun out of everything, knowing that you have to watch people closely. The younger members of my family were trying to make money to help pay their rent, so this was very disappointing that they suffered a loss. Most of the proceeds from my sales go to charity, as well as the items that do not sell, so who was he really hurting?

I suspect this individual is not a working American, so the next time he knocks on the door of a government agency wanting help with food stamps, childcare, housing, car repair, gas cards, vouchers for school clothes or free medical care and they do not have any more money to give, maybe he can connect this to his own behaviors. We don’t live in a vacuum or on an island where stealing only effects the one person.

Oh, and mommies bringing kids with them to sales: if they happen to come up with multiple little people for their doll house that you know can’t be bought in the stores any more because they belong to a vintage doll set from the 1970s, it would probably be a good learning experience for your tot to bring the dolls back to the owner and apologize.

– Diane Tuckerman

Wakefield Drive, Morenci