PJ & The Goodwill Heist


photo submitted by PJ Scudder

The cassette tape that Scudder found at Goodwill.

Chloe Stenger, Reporter

PJ Scudder is a 17-year-old senior who enjoys pillaging the local Goodwills to find unique items. He started a year ago when his friend, Gavin Schlosser (12), pulled him in.

“It’s fun because it’s like a fast-paced scavenger hunt. You know good items are there, and you actively need to be the fastest and the best one to get those items. It makes it a fun challenge to find interesting or useful things,” said Scudder.

Schlosser first started going to Goodwill on Nov. 16, 2021. He found some neat electric equipment. He then showed the item to Scudder, and he thought it was cool, so he decided to come along the next time Schlosser went to Goodwill.

“On Nov. 16, I spent $3 on a digital-analog converter box. One time I went to Goodwill and found a Zelda game cube game,” Schlosser said.

PJ Scudder enjoys going to Goodwill to find cool items. (Chloe Stenger)

The most interesting Goodwill that Scudder has ever gone to was located in St. Louis. It was like a warehouse surrounded by giant blue bins with tons of random stuff inside. When you get there, you are mandated by the workers to wear gloves. It’s like a very competitive scavenger hunt with 50 or more people, old and young, fighting to find the best items.

“Old, young; teams, and crazy people are your competition so you need to be fast to get the best items,” Scudder said. “The items are by the pound and not priced beforehand. So say you find an Xbox One S. Instead of it being the normal 50+ dollars, it could just be $10 because of its weight. That’s why everyone is so competitive.”

Scudder does it because it is fascinating. You can find anything at Goodwill. Sometimes you can find a family heirloom, old gaming console, rare media, PS3, iPods, computer monitors, old cams, family videos, and audio gear− just everyday items for super cheap. To Scudder, an object piques his interest if it’s weird how much the object sticks out.

“I find an item interesting if it’s odd or weird or if it’s old functional electronics. From gaming consoles, games, movies, or even old strange paintings,” Scudder said.

One of the most intriguing things Scudder has found from Goodwill is a cassette tape that seemed to have custom music on it. He found it in an old Sony music box. The cassette has the name “Robert M” written on it. When he uncovered the tape, he was hoping to find out who “Robert M” was, he searched to no avail.

“The Robert M cassette tape is one of the things I found at Goodwill,” he said. “It has a phone number and name on it. I tried the number, and it was disconnected. The ‘Robert M’ cassette has 58-minutes of just beats.”