A CHARITY has been targeted by thieves with the victims saying the theft would divert money away from needy causes.
A coin sorting machine belonging to the Rotary Club of Albury was taken from a container about a week ago.
President Mike Burke is appealing for help to track down the item, which had been bought only about four months ago for $2000.
The counter was used to sort money from fundraisers like the Good Friday Appeal and sausage sizzles, and Mr Burke said the theft would divert money from needy causes.
It was taken from a property on Dallinger Road.
“I just hope they’re proud of themselves,” he said of the thieves. I hope they sort themselves out and realise what they’ve done.”
Mr Burke is still hopeful the machine will be recovered in one piece.
“That would save us having to buy another machine,” he said.
“If worse comes to worst, we’ll have to go out into the community and do a few more extra sausage sizzles and raise money for another one.”
The thieves pried open a shipping container at the business after failing to break a padlock.
They damaged the handles of the container and rummaged around inside before removing the machine. They left behind other counting machines that were about 35 years old.
Mr Burke said there would be a very limited market for the device, which is a CS600 multipocket model.
“It’s upsetting,” Mr Burke said.
“You’re out there working, trying to raise some money for other people and charities, and this sort of thing happens.
“It’s money that could go to support a needy family somewhere along the line.”
The club combines with emergency service volunteers on Good Friday for the annual appeal, which results in a large number of coins being donated and needing counting.
The Albury campaign in March raised nearly $70,000 for the Royal Children’s Hospital.
The Rotary Club is also involved in other fundraising, including for the cancer centre and women’s refuge services.
Police are looking into the matter.
Mr Burke said he believed the offenders were still wanted.
A barbecue used for fundraisers at the Harvey Norman complex was also taken last month.
Anyone with information can contact Albury police on (02) 6023 9299 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.