ST VINCENT de Paul has been forced to take the drastic step of prosecuting people who steal items from outside their McLachlan Street store outside trading hours after a wooden table was stolen last weekend.
The diocesan executive officer Frank Moes told the Central Western Daily CCTV footage taken outside the store showed people donating the table at 4.18pm and someone else allegedly stealing it by loading it into their vehicle at 5.12pm.
A Vinnies staff member witnessed the incident and recorded the car’s number plate which they later verified using the CCTV footage.
“I think it’s disgraceful,” Mr Moes said.
“If you need something all you have to do is ask, I can’t believe anyone would steal from a charity.”
Mr Moes said not only was the theft depleting the charity’s stocks, it also impacted on the volunteers who were “demoralised” to see so many goods stolen.
“It’s driving us all to the end of our tether,” he said.
“Generally people donate things in a neat and tidy fashion but then people rat through it all and take what they want and wilfully damage the rest by spreading it out over the footpath.”
Mr Moes said he hoped police would be able to track down the people who had taken the goods and use them to set an example and remind the community taking goods from outside a charity was wrong.
“We’ve decided that we want formal action, we’re happy to prosecute ... we feel we have no choice,” he said.
“People who donate goods to be used by Vinnies expect these items to be used appropriately.
“We think we’re losing thousands of dollars worth of goods every year.”