(WXYZ) - With cold weather on the way, St. Vincent DePaul typically gathers warm coats and other items for families in need, but this year they say someone has threatened their charitable cause.
St. Vincent DePaul Executive Director Bill Brazier says their donation bins started to disappear about 6 months ago.
"When we would go pick up the bins, they would be gone," said Brazier.
The Society of St. Vincent DePaul decided to take action in their own way and filed a civil suit in federal court against a business that they say stole dozens of charitable bins from busy areas across metro Detroit and replaced them with their own.
Allegedly, due to a licensing agreement, the new bins were able to be labeled 'Michigan Humane Society.' However, the bins were really for a Houston-based recycling company.
"We were taken back and surprised by it that a company from Houston, TX would come in and try to muscle their way in when we are trying to help as many people as possible," said Brazier.
Allegedly, the charity known as Planet Aid also had bins taken and all of the stolen bins were then scrapped for cash. The lawsuit is for the replacement of all bins and the money taken. So far, the Houston recycling company has not responded to requests for comment.
The Michigan Humane Society is also not commenting on the alleged misuse of their name.
"We are going to use all our resources to get as many bins out there as we can, at convenient locations for people so they can help other Detroiters who are suffering and need these goods," said Brazier.