A Washington state thrift store owner recently had a man come into her shop, who she described as “very nice,” but things weren’t quite as they seemed. He left a bag behind as he walked out the door, and when she opened it, she was absolutely mortified by what was inside.
Leona Coakley-Spring owns the Rags to Riches Consignment store in Redmond, and she said a white man in his mid-20’s came in to sell her some items on Wednesday, reported MailOnline. Coakley-Spring purchased some of the items he had, but she noticed that he was acting strangely as he went to leave the building, and he left a bag behind that held some rather frightening items.
“I thought, ‘Oh, it’s a priest robe. I’m sure he didn’t mean to leave a priest robe,’” the 66-year-old recalled. However, it was the furthest thing from a priest’s robe that you could imagine.
“Then I saw the hood, and the hood had two eyes cut out, and then it came to me – He’s from a hate group, and he wanted me to open that bag in front of him,” she said, before explaining that she was up all night after the incident. “This is just so horrific, it makes me walk around all paranoid.”
According to the Redmond Police, the robe and attire does match those worn by the KKK, although they’re unsure of the man’s motive at this point. Spokeswoman Becky Range said the police “really want to interview him,” and they are asking anybody with information about his identity to call and report it.
As for Coakley-Spring, she may be rattled from the alleged incident, but her son says they’ll remain strong.
“We close the store, they would win,” Shane Coakley said. “And I don’t wanna give them any satisfaction.”
While I can understand being uncomfortable in this situation, it doesn’t seem reasonable to jump to conclusions just yet. Granted, with today’s hypersensitivity to all thing racist, it would be easy to assume this was hate-oriented and deliberate. It’s possible that he had no idea that the shop owner was black, which would have caused his nervous behavior about what he had in the bag. It would also explain why he left before they saw the item.
If it was just something that he no longer wanted, a better option would have been to burn it, but it seems possible that this was a guy looking for some quick cash and using some bad judgement to get it. If he was an active member of a hate group, wouldn’t he still need his robe?