Shameless thieves steal animal charity box

The two culprits were caught on camera at Auckland's Real Groovy store.
The two culprits were caught on camera at Auckland's Real Groovy store. Photo credit: Facebook/Real Groovy

Two thieves have stolen an animal charity box right off the counter of Auckland record store Real Groovy.

The men came into the Queen St shop at different times on the evening of Monday 26 March, but were seen talking together.

One man waited until counter staff were distracted before picking up the box and stuffing it up his shirt. The two then fled the scene.

They also stole a number of small items from the store, but the donation box is what staff members are really upset about.

Manager Sarah Williamson told Newshub she's "disgusted" by the act.

"Everyone's horrified - we just can't believe they'd do something like that."

She says people steal from Real Groovy "all the time", but the theft of donation money is despicable. It hurts the independent business more than it would a corporate chain, she says.

"They're just a couple of jerks, scumbags."

Images of the culprits were captured on security footage and shared to Real Groovy's Facebook page in the hopes of identifying them.

The store had donation boxes stolen at their old location, but not for a few years.

While the Facebook post says the box was for the SPCA, Ms Williamson says it may have been fundraising for the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA). 

There was a lot of money in the box, thanks to Real Groovy's "very generous" customers. It had only just been put back out on the counter after a hiatus in which staff tried to find a suitable place for it. 

Ms Williamson says the crime is especially reprehensible because it wasn't a compulsive act of temptation. The men were seen "casing the joint" before the theft, and one seemed to be contemplating stealing several other items before taking the box. 

"They scoped the place out, they planned it."

The same two men reportedly also tried stealing from a JB HiFi in New Lynn recently, but were scared off. Mall security is well aware of the pair, who are apparently regular thieves in the area.

Ms Williamson says she'd like to see the thieves held accountable for their actions.

"I'd like them to understand the impact of what they've done, maybe do some community service for the SPCA. They need a wake-up call."