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Watch: 'Ugly low life' allegedly caught stealing money meant for chronically ill kids

Author
NZ Herald ,
Publish Date
Fri, 13 May 2022, 9:15am

Watch: 'Ugly low life' allegedly caught stealing money meant for chronically ill kids

Author
NZ Herald ,
Publish Date
Fri, 13 May 2022, 9:15am

An "ugly low life" has been caught on CCTV allegedly stealing a charity donation box meant for children and their families battling serious kidney disease.

On Monday, a man suspiciously entered the Tararu Store and Bait Station just outside Thames and scouted the premises before leaving.

However, according to an employee of the store, the suspect then returned.

The employee, who does not want to be named, said the man managed to distract staff members before making off with the Kidney Kids charity box that was full of donations.

"The ugly low life which can only be described as scum stole the donation box," the employee said.

Store owner Dilpreet, who was working when the alleged theft happened, opened up about how the man distracted him before taking off with the much-needed donations.

"He came in and asked me to fill up his water bottle. When I went to the kitchen he took the donation box and ran off.

"The last I saw was him driving off in a white Toyota."

Dilpreet said the man had previously come in claiming to be poor and hungry begging for food.

The man was seen entering the store and asked the shop attendant to fill up his water bottle. As he filled the water bottle up, the man allegedly stole the donation box. Photo / Supplied

The man was seen entering the store and asked the shop attendant to fill up his water bottle. As he filled the water bottle up, the man allegedly stole the donation box. Photo / Supplied

"Two days ago he came in and said 'I'm really hungry, I don't have any money'. He claimed he had come from Coromandel and had dropped his EFTPOS card.

"I decided to give him a pie free of charge. If I see someone that might be hungry I want to help.

"But then he appeared two days later and stole the donation box. It's extremely frustrating."

An "ugly low life" has been caught on CCTV allegedly stealing a charity donation box meant for children and their families battling serious kidney disease. Photo / Supplied

An "ugly low life" has been caught on CCTV allegedly stealing a charity donation box meant for children and their families battling serious kidney disease. Photo / Supplied

The white Toyota Corolla the man used to get away after the alleged theft. Photo / Supplied

The white Toyota Corolla the man used to get away after the alleged theft. Photo / Supplied

Police told the Herald they were alerted to the incident and are continuing to look into the matter.

"Police received a report of a theft on Tararu Road, Thames, on 9 May. The case is currently being assessed. No arrests have been made," a spokesperson said.

CCTV caught the man leaving the store before driving away.

The loss of donations will hit Kidney Kids, a not-for-profit organisation that supports children, their families and whānau with kidney disease, hard.

Kidney Kids CEO Keith Mackenzie told the Herald they receive just $500,000 in donations a year with 10 to 15 per cent of their annual donations coming from donation boxes.

"Every little penny counts. We've had a pretty quiet couple of years with Covid and people not being able to get around.

"The coin boxes have been a bit lighter. We need every cent. It's frustrating when people take donations that could help young children."

The money for Kidney Kids goes towards supporting patients and families while they're dealing with chronic kidney disease.

"Families can be at Starship from three days to a year. It's a long time. We provide support where we can.

"We provide remedial education because kids with chronic kidney disease may be absent from school for long periods.

"We provide education so they keep up with their peers and don't become disadvantaged."

They also develop and run a Transition Programme to help young adults to transfer from paediatric care to adult services and achieve the best possible outcome for every young adult.

Mackenzie said the organisation supports around 400 children and families every year.

To donate to Kidney Kids, click here.