There’s an old saying that locks only keep honest people out. The same can be said for morals.

Case in point: Thieves on Tuesday night broke into a trailer local people have been filling with relief supplies for victims of Hurricane Florence. They made off with about $500 worth of power equipment and other items donated by residents, businesses, church groups and schoolchildren.

And they did it just as another disastrous storm, Hurricane Michael, was poised to spread more misery across the Southeast.

Organizer Bruce Hatfield said volunteers closed up shop about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. When they returned Wednesday morning about 9:30 a.m., they noticed the locks on both the back and side doors of the trailer had been cut. Hatfield said the main item stolen was a black and yellow Karcher pressure washer. Other tools, water, food and supplies had been taken as well.

The trailer was parked at the former Food Lion building at 800 Greenville Highway, across from the new Publix. Thanks to the generosity of residents, it was fairly stuffed with donations folks had been dropping off since last week.

Volunteers spearheading the drive filed a report with the Hendersonville Police Department. But there was no video surveillance footage to assist officers with leads. Hatfield said it was devastating to have people try to help hurricane victims only for their donations to be stolen.

“This is going to people that have lost everything,” he said. “For someone to break in and steal from people that have nothing, there’s nothing good I could ever say about those kinds of people. You don’t want to wish ill will on someone, but karma has a way of biting back.”

This wasn’t a petty prank. It was an act of cold, deliberate theft from people in need. In a way, the criminals victimized the good folks who took the time to make donations as well as the storm victims who won’t get the stolen supplies.

Fortunately, about $20,000 worth of donations were not stolen and are on their way to the intended recipients. Organizers planned to deliver the supplies to Bladen and Pender counties, rural areas hit by Hurricane Florence that were bracing for more rainfall from Hurricane Michael.

It’s hard to imagine the callousness of crooks who would steal supplies earmarked to help people who have lost their homes, vehicles, businesses and crops. Hopefully, someone will be able to provide police with leads so that they can arrest those responsible and put them behind bars.

Meanwhile, opportunities remain to help victims of this year’s devastating hurricanes, including donating to the North Carolina Disaster Relief Fund. The fund supports nonprofit organizations and local governments working to address immediate and short-term needs of survivors.

Donations can be made online at governor.nc.gov/donate-florence-recovery or text FLORENCE to 20222, or by sending a check to N.C. Disaster Relief Fund, 20312 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, N.C., 27699.

Learn more about the fund and how you can get involved to assist in disaster recovery at VolunteerNC.org.