GRAND HO­TEL BAN FOR CHAR­ITY THEFT

Childers man caught on CCTV steal­ing char­ity do­na­tion tin kicked out

Isis Town and Country - - Front Page - By MATTHEW MCIN­ER­NEY

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.”

PHOTO: MATTHEW MCIN­ER­NEY

NOT WEL­COME: Grand Ho­tel man­ager Greg Brown banned Michael Thomas from the venue after the 72-year-old stole a char­ity do­na­tion tin.

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