Char­ity bin thieves caught on cam­era

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - News - Tim Mayne

AN­GRY Kens­ing­ton res­i­dents have con­fronted and pho­tographed peo­ple steal­ing from char­ity bins.

So fed up are res­i­dents, they pro­vided The Gazette with pho­to­graphic ev­i­dence of the crimes in progress.

Good Sa­mar­i­tan In­dus­tries, Sal­va­tion Army, the Spine and Limb Foun­da­tion and an en­vi­ron­men­tal char­ity own the bins in Kens­ing­ton.

Con­cerned res­i­dent Phillip, who did not want his sur­name pub­lished, said he has wit­nessed sev­eral in­ci­dents of steal­ing from char­ity bins.

“I saw a young woman in her twen­ties ap­proach the bins and she started pick­ing out what­ever she wanted and left what she didn’t want on the curb,” Phillip said.

“She then threw the items she wanted in her car, saw me and I told her she was steal­ing, she swore at me and then she ca­su­ally wan­dered off to the park to meet a friend.”

Phillip and other res­i­dents said they have re­ported the in­ci­dents to the City of South Perth and were vis­ited by rangers who said the is­sue was caus­ing con­cern.

“The ranger looked at the mess and was re­ally con­cerned and said he would send some­one to clean it up,” Phillip said.

“The prob­lem is that these bins do help the poor and dis­ad­van­taged, but this steal­ing and trash­ing of bins is hap­pen­ing all around Perth.

“I don’t know why logic hasn’t pre­vailed and they just don’t put them next to the Po­lice Sta­tion, then peo­ple wouldn’t touch them,” he said.

The char­i­ties pre­vi­ously told The Gazette theft and van­dal­ism had cost hun­dreds of thou­sands of dol­lars in losses, money bet­ter di­rected at help­ing peo­ple in need.

Phillip said the two in­ci­dents he pho­tographed hap­pened as re­cently as Fri­day, July 24 and the evening of Tues­day, July 28, but there have been many re­cent in­ci­dents.

“I saw this guy on a scooter with a bucket fill­ing it with items and I asked him what he was do­ing and he told me to mind my own busi­ness and that he wasn’t steal­ing.

“I said then I will take a pho­to­graph of you and take it to the po­lice and you can ex­plain to them ex­actly what you are do­ing and he told me to ‘eff off.’

“This bloke had Man­durah num­ber plates and ex­tra cans of petrol on his scooter, so it looked like he was do­ing the rounds of the bins.

“I have even heard of peo­ple steal­ing items, wash­ing them and selling them them­selves at the mar­kets, so the char­i­ties don’t stand a chance, this is just cost­ing them a lot of money,” Phillip said.

Kens­ing­ton Po­lice Of­fi­cer in Charge Se­nior Sergeant Ash­ley Goy said peo­ple caught steal­ing from char­ity bins can be charged with a num­ber of of­fences.

“The charge is steal­ing be­cause those items be­come the prop­erty of the char­ity once it is re­lin­quished into the bin,” Snr Sgt Goy said.

“They can also be charged with other of­fences, in­clud­ing tres­pass­ing, if the bins are on land owned by cer­tain pri­vate or gov­ern­ment or­gan­i­sa­tions,” he said.

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