Donation bin incident disappoints Salvos

By Deniliquin Pastoral Times

Deniliquin’s Salvation Army has been left ‘‘disappointed’’ after an entire bin load of donations has needed to be cleaned up and discarded at the service’s expense.

Overnight this week, the service says its donation bins were rummaged through, leaving clothes and other donations strewn across the pavement.

Salvation Army captain Sandra Walmsley said the police had been notified and that they were trying to identify the culprits.

But this is not the first time it has happened, she says.

Capt Walmsley estimates bin theft happening at least ‘‘every couple of months.’’

She says the local branch has watched back the CCTV of the recent incident.

‘‘We can’t tell what they took... We can see footage of them pulling stuff out of the bin and rummaging.’’

Capt Walmsley stresses that once items have been deposited in the bins, they become Salvation Army property.

‘‘So essentially you’re stealing from the Salvation Army.’’

‘‘But it means you’re stealing from the community.

‘‘That’s the reason we’re here, to then benefit the community,’’ she says.

While the local Salvos are unsure exactly what was taken, they are more certain of the cost, including the work hours and disposal charges the clean up has cost them.

Capt Walmsley said the donation bin had been left open, ‘‘and then it rained.’’

‘‘It’s compromised absolutely everything that was in that donation bin

‘‘We had a full donation bin that you can see... And it’s all gone.

‘‘It had to go straight into the skip, ‘cos it was all water logged,’’ she said.

While difficult to estimate the cost of the lost donations, Capt Walmsley estimates it was worth several hundred dollars.

She remained disappointed at the damage given that the community is donating the items ‘‘in good faith’’ and ‘‘wanting it to benefit the community.’’

‘‘It is disappointing.

‘‘(There’s) the heartbreak of having to pull everything out and go straight to the garbage.

‘‘That costs us money... We actually pay to have our rubbish removed.

‘‘We don’t get free tip services like everybody imagines, we pay for our skip removal, we pay for the tip.

‘‘That actually puts a cost on us as well as losing the donations.’’

Capt Walmsley is asking the community to donate to the service during business hours, when donations can be delivered directly to the town’s headquarters, or to arrange for someone to be here after hours.’’

Deniliquin Police Senior Constable Peter Joice said they have only just recently received a report.

‘‘Two men have recently been found on CCTV footage wearing black clothes on Monday, rummaging through the bin on Edwardes St, stealing a considerable amount of items.

‘‘The men have not been identified and we are still making inquires.’’

The Salvation Army is asking anyone with information to contact police.