Thief ‘could have just asked’

South Waikato News - - Your Paper, Your Place - LUKE KIRKEBY

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.

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