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Charitable act gets Goodwill worker fired, arrested

A Florida Goodwill worker is reportedly off the hook for dispensing discounts worth thousands of dollars to customers.

According to ABC News, Andrew Anderson, 19, was arrested this week and charged with grand theft for granting $4,000 in discounts over a two-week period to customers who patronized a Naples Goodwill store. 

But the news agency now says Goodwill Retail and Donation Center in East Naples has decided not to press charges against its one-time employee, who was fired for doing what he said was the right thing.

"I wasn't actually stealing. Goodwill is a giving and helping company, so I took it upon to myself to be giving and helping because I feel people deserve it."

- Andrew Anderson

“After completing our internal investigation, we have determined that the individual’s actions were not for personal gain, but rather for the benefit of others,” a statement from the store reportedly read.

Earlier, Anderson told NBC2 he didn’t know he was doing anything wrong for sometimes slashing prices by as much as half for customers he thought wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford the shop’s wares.

"I wasn't actually stealing. Goodwill is a giving and helping company, so I took it upon to myself to be giving and helping because I feel people deserve it," Anderson told the station.

"People would come in on bicycles -- wearing all of the clothes they had, coming in with $2, $3 max."

ABC News cites police reports in saying Anderson was arrested and jailed Tuesday by Collier County police, but was bailed out the same day for $5,000.

“The suspect advised us that he never received any money himself,” Chris Marotta, a Collier County Police Officer told ABC News. 

“[He] was cooperative and apologetic. He admitted to the above actions and wishes to repay the store.”

Despite dropping the charges, Goodwill Retail and Donation Center defended its actions in its statement.

“The thousands of dollars given away could have been used to fund our programs, including our school dedicated solely for youth with intellectual disabilities,” a store representative reportedly wrote.

However, an apologetic Anderson told NBC2, “My heart was in the right place, my head was in the wrong place.”

 

 

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