GRAND HOTEL BAN FOR CHARITY THEFT
Childers man caught on CCTV stealing charity donation tin kicked out
DO NOT expect to see Childers man Michael Thomas at the Grand Hotel any time soon.
Thomas was banned from the venue and bottleshop after Grand Hotel manager Greg Brown caught the 72-year-old stealing a Red Collar Rescue donation tin on CCTV.
Grand Hotel manager Greg Brown said Thomas only confessed to stealing the tin after he confronted him with video evidence.
“I told him we had a problem with him being here and he denied taking it,” Mr Brown said.
“Then I told him I’ve got him on video and he confessed.”
What happened next blew Mr Brown’s mind.
“He offered to buy it from me for $100.”
Thomas complained to Mr Brown that the ban “wasn’t fair”, but the manager showed as much sympathy for Thomas as magistrate John Smith did in Childers Magistrates Court last Friday.
Magistrate Smith fined the Childers man $1000 and threatened Thomas with imprisonment should he reoffend.
Remarkably Thomas seemed more upset after he learned his licence could be disqualified.
Thomas used his personal vehicle to transport stolen goods.
Sharyn Banks, Red Collar Rescue It’s hard to fathom that there are people out there like that.
“What do I do without a car?” asked Thomas in court.
Magistrate Smith advised Thomas he shouldn’t steal, before describing the theft as a “low act”.
Red Collar Rescue founder Sharyn Banks said it was the first time one of their tins had been stolen.
The rescue group, which is based at Biggenden, has donation tins set up around the region to help raise much-needed funds to help provide temporary refuge and new homes for abandoned and abused dogs.
Mrs Banks said she was shocked to learn what happened.
“At the time I said he should be forced to watch dogs be euthanized so he could realise what we do,” Mrs Banks said.
“In a way I feel sorry for him that he needs to resort to such an act. It’s hard to fathom that there are people out there like that.”
Mrs Banks said Thomas’ estranged daughter had been in touch after it happened and committed to help the group.
“She said she was ashamed that he’d done what he did,” Mrs Banks said.
Mrs Banks said they would never know how much was in the tin, but she said there was “usually about $90” whenever they were collected.
“It doesn’t sound like much but that’s a bag of food,” Mrs Banks.
“Then there’s the cost of replacing the tins and that’s about $20 alone.”
NOT WELCOME: Grand Hotel manager Greg Brown banned Michael Thomas from the venue after the 72-year-old stole a charity donation tin.