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 was later found dumped at Te Haumi in Paihia.

Watch the CCTV footage here:

Watch the moment a box brimming with donations for Opua School is stolen from Opua General Store.

Opua General Store owner Greg Philpott hoped someone would recognise the alleged 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 icecream 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 at 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, including in this newspaper, until someone recognised her as a 14-year-old from Whangarei.

While Mr Philpott was pleased the girl had been identified, it was disappointing there had been no apology and no reparation from her or her parents.