Man accused of stealing donations from Special Olympics bin

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LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - Laurel County deputies say they caught 49-year-old Gary Patton stealing clothes and shoes from a Special Olympics donation bin Thursday morning.

"You don't steal period but you don't steal from something worthwhile like this," said deputy Gilbert Acciardo.

Investigators tell us that they saw Patton taking clothes out of the donation bin that is off of Hawk Creek Road about 1:30 a.m.

Deputies tell us when they questioned Patton he said he was looking for keys that he left in a green bag of clothes that he had donated.

Deputies say they arrested him when they didn't find a green bag or keys or men's clothing.

Patton is charged with theft by unlawful taking and driving with a DUI suspended license.

"It really disappoints me. I feel it in my heart more than anything," said Michael Westerfield.

He works at Ott's General Store, which is where investigators say Patton tried to empty the clothing bin.

"It goes so much further than seeing someone take from the donation bin. You're stealing straight from those people, you're stealing from them," said Westerfield.

Acciardo said, "It's quite shameful that someone would do this. He's right where he needs to be, which is the Laurel County Detention Center."

Patton declined our request for a jail interview.

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