SANTA FE — Sometimes when its seems one has lost all hope in humankind, people do amazing things to rekindle the spirit.
That’s the case for Ricki “Shorty” Locke, who a week ago had $1,500 in quarters he collected for about eight years stolen from his trailer house.
Since The Daily News reported on the theft of the estimated 6,000 quarters, Locke said the outpouring of support from the community has been overwhelming.
“People have been so great and so giving,” Locke said.
The 65-year-old sacker at the Santa Fe Arlan’s grocery store said customers have been giving him extra tips — some in quarters — to replace what was stolen. Locke, who makes about $125 a week, had saved the money to build a privacy fence around his trailer.
As of Tuesday, Locke said he had about $1,800 in donations from residents who read or heard about his plight. He also has offers from people to find a fence builder to construct the privacy fence he’d been saving for.
“I can’t thank people enough,” he said. “My heart goes out to them, For an old man like me it means the world.”
Those who helped out, including his sister-in-law Shannon Locke, said the retiree deserves all the kindness he can get.
Locke is known as a giving guy who is a favorite at the grocery store. Some customers wait in line just to have him sack their groceries.
He’s upset about the burglary and with the person who ran off with 75 pounds of quarters that were held in an old bucket but doesn’t hold a huge grudge.
“If (the thief) had come and asked me, I would have given him some (money) or helped out any way I could,” he said. “I have a big heart. You don’t have to steal.”
Police do not have any leads in the case. Anyone with information should call Santa Fe police at 409-925-2000.
Contact Mainland Editor T.J. Aulds at 409-683-5334 or email@example.com.