Arrests after charity box theft

An overwhelming public response to security footage showing two people allegedly stealing a charity donation box from a Hastings petrol station has led to arrests.

Security camera footage taken at the Heretaunga St business on January 11 was released by police yesterday.

It showed a man and a woman approaching the counter and asking to buy cigarettes.

While the attendant's back was turned, one man allegedly stuffed a donation box for Riding for the Disabled inside his hoodie.

Both then walked out of the service station.

The footage was run by several media organisations and posted on the Hawke's Bay Police Facebook page.

Inspector Andy Sloan said the images prompted "a wave of information" about the pair, provoking a wide reaction of disgust online.

The Facebook post was shared by 771 people, 439 of whom made comments which included information about who the pair could be.

A tip from a member of the public lead to the arrest of the pair, aged 20 and 28, in Hastings.

Both will appear in the Hastings District Court today on theft charges relating to the charity box, as well as other unrelated charges.

Sloan said police were heartened by the response.

"This is a fantastic result and would not have happened without the public's help.

"It was also pleasing to see the amount of outrage and disgust towards these people - it's obvious the community will not tolerate this type of behaviour and people are willing to help police prevent it happening," he said.


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