Ballymena charity hits out as donation bags are grabbed from their shop doorstep in brazen daylight snatch

A sign at the shop this week.

A CHARITY worker has hit out at an alleged brazen daylight snatch in which donation bags left outside a Ballymena shop were grabbed from the doorstep by a passer-by.

Staff at the Salvation Army charity shop in Broughshane Street say that over the years members of the public have often left bags of donations outside to be picked up by staff when they arrive to open up.

However, it has emerged that members of the public reported to the shop that bags which had been left outside the shop have now been taken.

Speaking on Wednesday, Salvation Army shop assistant Helen McLaughlin, told ‘Ballymena Daily’ that as she and another member of staff arrived at 9.30am to open up last Thursday members of the public approached them and said that at around 9.15am a couple – a man and a woman – came along and the man looked in the bag before lifting them and walking off.

Helen said: “We have had bags left outside here for the past six years and we have had never had a problem before.”

Added Helen: “I don’t think very much of whoever did this. There is no need for anybody to lift something from outside a charity shop”.

She added that the shop would have tried to help such a person if they were in financial need.

The matter was reported to police.

A PSNI spokesman said: “Police received a report of what appears to have been donation bags being lifted from outside a shop last week”.

The shop has now posted the following notice outside the premises saying: ‘We appreciate your donations to our shop. The opening hours for the shop are Monday – Saturday 10.00am – 4.00pm. We ask that bags are no longer left outside the shop as we have incurred theft of these bags.
‘If you need to make a donation outside of these hours, please free to make arrangements by contacting the shop on Ballymena 25655233. Many thanks for your help in this matter – Doreen Armstrong (Shop Manageress)’.

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