Heartless thieves steal from local charity

Ocean Grove Salvation Army op shop store manager Linda Velic and volunteer Mariam Sutherland were left devastated after thieves stole cash from the store. 176991

By Justin Flynn

Thieves left Ocean Grove’s Salvation Army op shop volunteers devastated after they stole a large amount of cash during a brazen burglary.
The thieves made their way over a barbed wire fence, smashed through the front door and used the op shop’s own tools to break into the safe, where they made off with $1148.
The break-in occurred on the night of Thursday 18 January or the morning of Friday 19 January.
However, store manager Linda Velic said it could have been much worse.
“We feel blessed and could have been a heck of a lot worse,” she told the Voice.
“Nobody was hurt and the shop itself was undamaged.
“Why steal from a charity? We are here to help people. With what they have taken, we could have helped so many people with it.”
The thieves left no fingerprints and left the shop basically unharmed apart from the safe and the front door. The staff bathroom, where tools were stored, was also damaged.
“It’s tragic that people can be so heartless,” shop volunteer Mariam Sutherland said.
“It’s sad the people could stoop that low.”
Ms Velic said staff were left shaken after the theft.
“We were worried about coming to work on Saturday,” she said.
“For a lot of these girls, this is their safe place.”
Anyone with information regarding the break-in can contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.