CHAR­ITY THIEFS STRIKE VIN­NIES

Vin­nies staff shocked by ‘des­per­ate’ theft of goods and do­na­tion box

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

THE sight of a fire ex­tin­guisher ly­ing on its side near the door was the mo­ment Rhonda Green re­alised St Vincent de Paul So­ci­ety’s shop in Childers had been bro­ken into.

“I came to open the shop in the morn­ing and saw a few things on the floor when I got in,” she said.

“There was a screw­driver on the floor and I didn’t think too much of it, but once I saw the fire ex­tin­guisher I knew some­thing was wrong.”

She stepped over items ly­ing on the ground to the main area of the Churchill St store, care­ful not to touch any­thing be­fore po­lice ar­rived.

Sev­eral coat hang­ers lit­tered the floor, the jew­ellery stand was emp­tied, pi­ous ob­jects were miss­ing and the char­ity box was gone.

St Vincent de Paul’s Faye Wilkes-John­son and Au­drey Mes­sen­ger were heartbroken to find their store the way it was.

They said it was the first time in years some­thing like this had hap­pened and Mrs Wilkes-John­son could not un­der­stand how any­one could steal from the store.

“They must’ve been re­ally des­per­ate,” Mrs Wilkes-John­son said.

“We don’t keep any money on premises and there usu­ally isn’t too much in the pall box. We empty it reg­u­larly.

“They’ve taken the jew­ellery from the counter and gone through a few boxes. I guess they prob­a­bly just wanted to see what they could get.”

The ex­tent of the losses is still un­known, although they were lucky to find the safe and lap­top were un­touched.

The trio were even hap­pier to learn the Christ­mas presents they had set aside weren’t stolen.

The St Vincent de Paul So­ci­ety vol­un­teers were not de­terred by the events, trad­ing less than 24 hours after the dis­cov­ery.

St Vincent de Paul So­ci­ety’s Faye Wilkes-John­son

They must’ve been re­ally des­per­ate...

PHOTO: MATTHEW MCIN­ER­NEY

HEARTBROKEN: Rhonda Green, Au­drey Mes­sen­ger and Faye Wilkes-John­son at the shop.

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