Woman accused of stealing from Cle Elum fire charity

CLE ELUM, Wash. -- More than 1,000 firefighters fought hard to quell the massive fire that destroyed dozens of homes near Cle Elum earlier this month.

The community came together in the difficult time, amassing a huge trove of donations. But after some of those items showed up for sale online, police launched an undercover sting operation.

Working with the Ellensburg Community Closet, volunteers like Kallie Knudson offered donations and assistance to those in need. But Kittitas sheriff's investigators say the community closet also opened the door for an opportunist.

Deputies say 20-year-old Kaysee Hancock stole more than 200 donations and sold them online. Hancock allegedly said she was picking up the items for a local family whose home was destroyed by the fire.

The family in question denies asking for or receiving anything from Hancock.

"Yes, the Louwen family knows these girls but no, they never asked them to get anything and nothing was ever given to them by these girls," Knudson said..

Instead, deputies say Hancock listed the items on Facebook, with prices as low as 75 cents.

It was there that Knudson recognized the items and called police. They set up a sting and arrested Hancock at her home as she sold goods to an undercover investigator.

Hancock insists she didn't do anything wrong and said she only listed the items after trying to contact the family and not getting any response.

All of the items were returned to the community closet.