A man has been caught on CCTV footage swiping a charity collection jar from under the nose of a Waikouaiti fish and chip shop owner.

The footage showed the young man entering the Waikouaiti Fish Inn on Saturday, September 1 to pick up an order.

The man mills about, chatting with staff and pacing the premises, before grabbing a charity collection jar containing about $120 and hiding it below the counter, reports Otago Daily Times.

He collects his order from owner Alister Baird before leaving the shop.


A few moments later, Mr Baird walks out the back of his shop and the footage shows the man darting back in to remove the jar.

Later that day, Mr Baird noticed the jar missing.

He had been collecting money in the large sauce jar for several years, raising hundreds of dollars for charities such as World Vision and Unicef.

Mr Baird said he could not believe the man would stoop to ripping off what were charitable donations.

"He must have been a charity case himself."

He reported the theft to police days after the incident.

A police spokesman said yesterday the offender was yet to be identified.

Mr Baird said had not seen the man before or since.

"He won't have been a local."