A box brimming with donations for Opua School has been stolen from the counter of the town's general store.

The theft was captured on CCTV and the donation box later found dumped at Te Haumi in Paihia.

Opua General Store owner Greg Philpott hoped someone would recognise the culprit or her accomplice, and inform their nearest police station. He estimated the box contained $75 to $100 in donations for the school.

The theft occurred about 11.10am on March 14 and left him feeling frustrated and disappointed.


"She was very nonchalant about it. She put her ice cream on the bench, put her arm around the box and slid it into her bag."

Mr Philpott said he put a lot of effort into helping the community and welcoming everyone who walked in the door. Incidents like the donation box theft made that more difficult.

If the woman was caught, he hoped she would be made to apologise to a school assembly and repay the donations she had taken.

A nearby tavern had taken to attaching its donation box to the counter with a heavy chain, "but you just can't nail everything down".

A St John donation box was stolen from the same store in April 2014. A CCTV image of the offender was widely published until someone recognised her as a 14-year-old from Whangarei.

- Call the Kerikeri police station on (09) 407 9211 with any information.