Laurie Andrew struggles to understand why people would steal from a charity like Far North Hospice, and why they would destroy anything they don't want to take.

Mrs Andrew said stealing goods, most commonly clothing, that were left at the Hospice shop in Kaitaia after hours was an ongoing and increasing problem, and she had run out of ideas regarding how to stop it.

Signs warning that CCTV cameras were operating at the front and rear of the shop, pointing out that taking donated goods was theft, and asking donors not to leave goods there outside shop hours (9am to 4pm week days) weren't working.

"What else can we do?" she asked.


CCTV images had been passed on to the police, who had asked that every incident be reported, and she hoped the offenders would be identified and prosecuted. Nothing else seemed to be deterring them.

Mrs Andrew showed the Northland Age camera footage of two people who helped themselves to the contents of six or seven bags of clothing behind the shop at 4.30 on Sunday afternoon. They examined various garments, taking some but leaving the bulk scattered over the ground.

By the time shop staff arrived on Monday morning it had rained, and the discarded garments were fit only to be given away, or dumped, Mrs Andrew estimating that had cost Hospice around $200.

She also showed footage of two people raiding bags of clothing left at the front of the shop at 1.45 on Sunday afternoon, again taking some garments and leaving others strewn about the area.

"They don't leave a tidy mess," she said.

And there were pictures of an enterprising individual diving into the rubbish skip at the rear of the shop, his or her legs dangling over the side of the bin for the best part of 20 minutes.

Mrs Andrew added that anyone who needed clothing that desperately only had to ask.

"If they're freezing and they can't afford to buy clothes, we will give them some," she said.


"But as you can see, these people aren't badly dressed. They really don't look as though they have no other option but to steal. They're just taking from an organisation that needs every dollar it can raise to help people who are in real need."