Local Boy Scout Bottle Drop Bandit?

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HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A Boy Scout bottle drop donation box has been cleaned out twice in as many weeks. Troop leaders tell NEWS10 ABC it was not done by any of them. So, who was it? 

Ethan McMahon, 11, is a member of Hoosick Falls Troop 6063. He said he was bummed to find out that someone allegedly stole dozens of bags from their bottle drop.

“I’m like really disappointed because a lot of that money does go to scouts and our activities that we do in scouts,” said McMahon. 

Troop leader Sheryl Yeung said she stopped by their drop box, located in the Tops Market parking lot, last week. The box, which is typically filled to the brim, was empty.

“Yeah, I put a group text out and they said, no we didn’t do it. So, I’m like great we got robbed,” said Yeung. 

A few days later, she said it happened again.

“You do feel violated that they would actually take from children,” she said.

Troop leaders said they are not necessarily looking to make an arrest; they just want people to know why this bottle drop, which was built by a Scout father, is there.

The scout law has 12 points, one of which is “Thrifty”. Per the BSA website, that means “Work to pay your own way. Try not to be wasteful.”

The troop said bottle redemption is one way to do just that.

“I think a whole box full generally gives us about $100, and it really helps us do a lot of stuff,” said Yeung. 

As a mom, she knows kids have a lot going on, especially during the school year with one fundraiser after another. Bottle returns help offset costs for their families. Whether it be for membership dues, merit badges, or memorable field trips. The Troop is also in the middle of planning a “veteran’s breakfast” for the American Legion, who serves as their charter organization. 

This is not the first time the troop has dealt with this issue. It has happened in years past. They’re also aware that some people will skim a few bags off the top when it’s piled high. Scouts are OK with that if that person genuinely needs a few bucks. This, they say, was a little much.

“I get that they take a little bit because if they need it more than we do, just take it, but to clean it all out…it’s like…yeah…” said McMahon. 

The troop said for now they will have to do their best to stay on top of it and collect the bags on a daily basis. All of the collected bottles are taken to the nearby Nickleback Redemption Center. The money goes right into the troop account they have set up there.

Troop leaders said for those who have always graciously donated, but no longer trust the bottle drop, you can bring the bottles directly to the redemption center and tell them you would like the money donated to Hoosick Falls Troop 6063. 

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