A major charity has urged people to report thefts of donations to police after men were spotted apparently stealing from clothes bins.
Grimsby Live was sent pictures of two men opening up and reaching into the containers, including some belonging to Oxfam, and filling bags before walking away.
They reportedly pulled clothing out of the bins on Fisherman’s Wharf, near Sainsbury’s, and onto the ground while leaving much of it “all over” after picking up a number of items.
The witness said: “This is disgusting, they walked away with bags of clothes.
“It was mainly the Oxfam bins. They got quite far inside and now it’s just been left all over.”
Reacting to the reported thefts, Fee Gilfeather, from Oxfam’s trading team, said: “Clothing banks are an important and valued source of donations to Oxfam shops, which help fund our life-changing work around the world.
“Anyone who sees suspicious behaviour around clothing banks should report it to the police. People who are concerned should, if possible, take their donations of clothing to their local Oxfam shop.
“We’re asking people to ‘ring before they bring’ to arrange a suitable time to drop off. Every donation makes a positive difference to our vital work fighting poverty around the world.”
Charity shops have been gradually reopening over the past few weeks after months of closure due to the Covid-19 lockdown.
As well as a loss of income, one of the issues some faced during this time was people leaving donations piled up in store doorways which were then being damaged or stolen.
In May, it was reported how a member of staff at the British Red Cross store in Cleethorpes said the charity “always appreciates your kind donations” but urged people to hang onto them until shops reopened as “most are unfortunately being stolen or ruined whilst outside”.
Oxfam reopened its Grimsby store in early July and introduced a number of safety measures including isolating donated items for 72 hours before being sorted to prevent the risk of contamination.
The charity is also restricting how many people are allowed in store, and has introduced hand sanitiser for customers, screen guards at tills, as well as face masks and gloves for staff. Changing rooms are shut too.
Last month, Ms Gilfeather said it will be an “exciting shopping experience”, telling the PA news agency: “From a shopper perspective I think that people can expect to find some really great treasures to buy, because everybody’s had a lockdown clear-out, and I think that charity shops are going to be full of some really great gems that people have cleared out of their homes.”
She added that people should check with the shop in advance about the best time to drop off donations.
Author: " -- www.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk "