Terang Community Op Shop volunteers have been disheartened by thieves

TERANG Community Op Shop has warned people with sticky fingers they are being watched and any thefts will be reported to police.

A toy motorised Landrover Discovery was stolen from the charity on Monday night.

HARD WORKING: Terang Community Op shop volunteers Andrea Balcombe, Rowan Stevens and Margaret Parnell are disappointed by a recent theft. Picture: Christine Ansorge

HARD WORKING: Terang Community Op shop volunteers Andrea Balcombe, Rowan Stevens and Margaret Parnell are disappointed by a recent theft. Picture: Christine Ansorge

Op Shop project manager Andrea Balcombe said volunteers on Monday had locked the shop and due to the large amount of donations recently received decided to leave the toy near the entrance to the shop.

She said the toy was tucked up on a couch and hidden by other items.

“We thought it would be safe enough,” she said.

THEFT: The motorised Landrover Discovery was stolen from the Terang Op Shop.

THEFT: The motorised Landrover Discovery was stolen from the Terang Op Shop.

Mrs Balcombe said the offenders, who had been caught on CCTV, walked in and rummaged through the outside area and taken the car.

“There is frustration because we all work our bums off and for someone to take this, not because they need it, but probably to benefit financially, it’s disappointing,” she said.

Mrs Balcombe said the theft had been reported to police and the CCTV footage given to police.

“In all honesty we have fantastic people who will come in and say they saw someone hanging around the shop and didn’t know if they were dropping something off or picking something up,” she said.

“It’s disappointing that these people want to do their bit of ‘after hours shopping’.” 

Mrs Balcombe said there were about 30 volunteers who kept the shop running and they had been inundated with donations in recent months.

“Coming out of Christmas and then with the fire relief, the volume of donations has been overwhelming,” she said.

Mrs Balcombe said since the shop opened in 2009 more than $570,000 had been donated to local schools, sporting clubs, the hospital, fire relief and other projects.

“It’s for everyone’s benefit and that’s why it’s especially disappointing that someone would walk in and help themselves,” she said. “It’s not in the spirit of Terang and the people that live here.”

Mrs Balcombe said more volunteers were welcome to help share the load. “We’ve got a job for everyone,” she said. 

“There’s some elderly people who take jigsaw puzzles home and put them together to make sure all the pieces are there.” If the op shop is closed and anyone wants to drop items off they can call 0419 314 870.