Thief ‘could have just asked’
The manager of a charitable op’ shop has been left shocked after the handbag of one of her elderly, retired volunteers was stolen.
Tokoroa St Vincent de Paul Op Shop manager Sonja Pentecost said someone came into the shop on Tuesday and stole a handbag that was hidden behind the shop counter.
It contained the woman’s house and car keys, cellphone, purse, and other personal items.
Pentecost said the volunteer, who has asked to remain anonymous, was ‘‘devastated and shaking’’ when she discovered her bag was gone.
‘‘It was getting late and she had to go to the bank and cancel all her cards and get a locksmith around to be able to get into her house, ‘‘she said.
‘‘She’s had to change all the locks on her house, get new keys for her car, and a new licence as well. I don’t think she slept very well that night.’’
Pentecost said the police have been informed.
‘‘I don’t want to accuse anyone but someone did come in who wanted to listen to a CD and we have a CD player down behind the counter so she invited them to come around and put it on,’’ she said.
‘‘[Later on] she went to take the rubbish out and the other lady who was helping out in the shop was down the back where the line of sight is not great. Someone could have taken it then but we just don’t know.’’
She said she doesn’t know why someone would steal from a charity shop.
‘‘These people volunteer and do not get paid. She has been volunteering for close to 10 years and she is also retired and this is just one expense after another which she can not afford, ‘‘ she said.
Pentecost said the thief only needed to ask for help if they were desperate.
‘‘We will pretty much give what we have, they don’t have to steal if they really need it, ‘‘she said.
‘‘We help out with clothing, furniture when we get it, petrol vouchers for people that have to go somewhere suddenly, food vouchers, Winz [Work and Income] send people to us if they can’t do anything, and we also work closely with the foodbank and help with things they can’t.’’
‘‘If they are genuine, all they have to do is ask,’’ she said.
She said they are now having to lock everything up.
‘‘You really don’t expect someone to do this to a charity store,’’ she said.
Tokoroa St Vincent de Paul Op-shop manager Sonja Pentecost just wants her volunteer’s handbag returned.