Vinnies donation bins at Ruthven and Long streets were overflowing earlier this year.
Vinnies donation bins at Ruthven and Long streets were overflowing earlier this year. Kevin Farmer

Opportunistic thieves target donation bins in low act

VINNIES and Lifeline donation points within the city have become the target of opportunistic thieves, looking to grab a bargain from the bins.

Toowoomba resident Kaz Woodward became a witness of one such theft while working at the Range Shopping Centre at the weekend.

In a post to Facebook, Ms Woodward said she saw a person in a white Commodore pull up to the bins and collect donations that were too big to fit in the containers.

"It's a sad situation," Ms Woodward said.

"I see it quite a bit on the weekend when the bins get too full.

"Late at night people pull up to the bins and take stuff - and I don't think they are all disadvantaged."

Vinnies' executive officer for the Toowoomba Diocese Kathie Brosnan said it was a hard situation to defend against.

"It's an ongoing issue. We have had a big push against it before," Ms Brosnan said.

"But we rely on volunteers who can't clear the bins during the weekend - and we certainly see greater instances of this happening during that time."

Ms Brosnan said while some bins were cleared daily, others were cleared only three times a week.

"We don't want this to discourage people who are donating to us," she said.

"But one of the only solutions is for people to bring their donations into the store during the day - this way they can make sure their donations are being used in the most effective way."

As for the thieves, Ms Brosnan offered a helping hand instead of a reproach.

"If you are in need of anything or are suffering through hardship, instead of taking the donations just come in and see us," she said.

"We are here to assist the community and those in times of need."



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