Thieves smash charity display, steal thousands from Salem brewer - KPTV - FOX 12

Thieves smash charity display, steal thousands from Salem brewery

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SALEM, OR (KPTV) -

Salem police are looking for the suspects who broke into a brewery early Monday and made off with thousands of dollars of charity money.

Thieves targeted Gilgamesh Brewing, broke through the back door and smashed a display case filled with money collected for Doernbecher Children's Hospital.

Co-owner Matt Radtke estimates between $4,000 to $6,000 was stolen. 

“It’s really shocking. The glass case says ‘Doernbecher’ – it’s for the charity,” Radtke said. “It’s really heartless to do that and steal money from the charity.” 

The brewery has partnered with Doernbecher, along with retired Trail Blazer legend and University of Portland basketball coach Terry Porter for three years to create a special brew. Portions of the beer sale proceeds go to the hospital. 

FOX 12 spoke to Porter Monday night by phone.

“It’s disappointing when you have a family-owned business doing great things for young children,” Porter said. “The people who committed that crime took money from kids, and their family when they’re faced with hardships financially.”

Officers said they don’t have any suspects and are seeking tips.

Meanwhile, community members have already stepped up to pitch in.

“We’ve already had a lot of people reaching out: good customers, friends, business partners,” Radtke said. “They’ve already been donating $20s, $50s. It’s really touching to see the people really care about this.”

Radtke said one person donated $500.

“We’re already looking to now raise more money because of this horrible incident,” Radtke said. 

The word spread quickly after the brewery posted about the crime on its Facebook page.

“My wife actually sent it to me while I was at work today, and I was like, ‘We’re definitely going,’” Ty Bower said. 

Bower and his wife, Alyssa, brought their 2-year-old son, River, along for dinner Monday night. For the family, offering support is very personal.

“Doernbecher holds a special place in our hearts because they saved his life,” Bower said, gesturing at his toddler in his lap.

River was born with a life-threatening heart condition, and doctors told the family he would die.

After surgery, and yearly checkups, River is now and healthy and rambunctious little boy. 

“When people come in and steal from this organization that’s helping kids, it’s heartbreaking,” Alyssa Bower said. 

Gilgamesh has received so much support that the brewery has setup a PayPal account for donations and will hold two auctions to raise money for the charity. You can find out more information by clicking here

Anyone with information about the suspects or the case should call Salem Police.

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