HOW low can someone go?
That’s the question on everyone’s lips at the Tamworth Salvation Army store after a man stole the charity group’s donation tin.
The daylight theft happened in full view of customers, staff and the O’Connell St store’s CCTV cameras, on Thursday morning.
The donation tin was stationed on the front counter and contained about $50 before it was taken.
“The more people steal, the less we have available to try and assist people,” Salvation Army manager Lloyd Stanimirovic told The Leader yesterday.
“In that way it does make it harder.”
The brazen theft has left a sour taste for those striving to make a difference for others.
“It does really knock you. You’re trying very hard to help people and then someone goes and does something like that,” Mr Stanimirovic said.
“You do wonder just how needy they are and how low they will go. It certainly seemed to be a planned thing, the fact that he was standing there next to the bucket.”
Mr Stanimirovic said the man was in the company of two women.
“When the first female had been served, she picked up the items she had paid for and went out the door, and the man watched her,” he said.
“Once she was outside, he picked up the donation bucket and exited the store along with the females and proceeded down the ramp and over the road to the vehicle.”
Luckily, the store has been able to pass the CCTV footage on to local police.
After numerous thefts from charity bins and stealings from the dock, it’s made matters worse for those who are working to help those desperately in need.
Just this week the store has handed out hundreds of dollars in welfare assistance.
“The donations that people are kind enough to give, they might be anywhere from a few coins that they flip into the bucket, it still goes towards the money we use to assist people in need,” Mr Stanimirovic said
“It has been quite a struggle this year to keep up with the demand with the cold weather.
“The blankets barely stay on the shelf.”
The Salvation Army said it was thankful for those who kept donating, saying without them, they wouldn’t be able to do what they do for those in need.