Theft warning as charity appeals for stock

THE NUMBER of donations being stolen from a local charity shop has decreased since the Review highlighted the problem earlier in the year.

Donations of clothes, books and other items left outside the PDSA’s High Street shop were being stolen on a regular basis before it opened at 9am.

A spate of three or four thefts in quick succession proved to be the last straw for the charity which offered an extra collection service for its supporters.

Store manager Ramona McMahon said staff were shocked by the frequency of the thefts, some of which have were in broad daylight. They were also stunned by the audacity of some thieves who went as far as intercepting regular collections from homes in the local area and others who raked through the shop’s bins while it was still open for business.

With demand for the PDSA’s veterinary services increasing by more than a third, the charity is again appealing for donations to boost its stock but also for the public to help make sure their donations reach the charity in the first place.

Speaking on behalf of the Montrose branch Jill Gregory, manager of the PDSA shop in Lochee, said that supporters have been “a lot more careful” since the Review’s articles in February.

She said: “They tend to ‘phone up and ask for collections more often and they’re waiting until the shop is open instead of leaving donations outside.

“We’re still recommending that they do that, if they can wait for us to be open and bring items in to the shop, or all they have to do is pick up the ‘phone and arrange a pick-up.

“It’s quite a relief because we’re short of stock right across the region at the moment. People don’t have the money to replace things so they’re hanging on to them a bit longer.”

PDSA provides free veterinary treatment for the sick and injured pets of eligible people in need and the charity’s five PetAid hospitals in Scotland have seen a 35 per cent rise in pets needing their vital services over the past five years.

PDSA area retail manager Sharon Miller said: “More and more people are turning to PDSA to help care for their pets, and our retail stores are a vital way of raising funds to provide our veterinary service. We know times are tough for a lot of people, but donating to charity needn’t cost anything.

“We rely entirely on public support and receive no government or lottery funding.”

Anyone with donations can call into the shop from Monday to Saturday between 9am and 5pm or call 01674 673276 to arrange a collection.