TWO drunk women on a 60th birthday bender told police they were “happy and celebrating” when they allegedly tried to steal clothing and toys from the Salvation Army yesterday.
Wodonga police Sen-Constable Tina Byford said a passer-by had called police after seeing two women scrounging through a drop-off bin for clothes and items for charity on Melbourne Road at 3am.
Sen-Constable Byford said the pair had been celebrating one of the women’s birthdays. They stopped-off at the Salvation Army store and allegedly were trying to take clothing and toys.
The intoxicated pair allegedly had been driving, Sen-Constable Byford said.
Police stopped them before they could drive away
Sen-Constable Byford said they told police they were “happy and celebrating” at the time.
A woman, 60, and another, 44, both of Wodonga will be charged on summons with theft.
An incident like this is not unusual for the Wodonga store.
“Wodonga is one of the worst in the state in terms of rubbish being dumped, donations being rummaged through and scattered around, unfortunately,” Salvation Army sustainability and waste manager Donald Munro said.
“It’s not a reflection on the community. It happens at several stores, particularly those with easy after-hours access.”
Mr Munro said yesterday’s incident was disappointing but he was careful not to judge the suspects.
“It’s not a witch hunt to name and shame because it may well be they’re in need of assistance,” he said.
“If people are in need, the reality is we’re here to help and we do give away clothing to people in dire straits.”
But Mr Munro said there had been a history of people taking advantage of the Salvation Army.
He said people did steal items and sell them at trash and treasure markets and on eBay.
“We do have closed circuit television footage at other sites of people in big shiny four-wheel drives taking clothing,” he said.