Thievery is quite common at Lake Cowichan’s two church thrift stores, including the ones at both the Anglican and United Churches.
Thieves have been taking items that donors drop off in front of the churches.
“It is absolutely disgusting,” United Church Thrift Store organizer Audrey Towle said, adding that the thieves are taking money straight out of the church, as all funds are used to help keep the church a-float.
If the thieves truly need an item, and can’t afford it, in all likelihood, the church will give it to them, Towle said. Resorting to thievery isn’t the way to go.
But, she said, the church doesn’t press charges.
“If they feel that they need it, and they steal from a church, they can have it,” she said.
In order to prevent thefts, Towle encourages people to drop off items between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Tuesdays, or on Thursdays, when their Thrift Store is open. The store opened for the season, last week.
Local Anglican Church people’s warden Sheila McFarlane said that she isn’t quite as forgiving as the United Church.
“The Anglican Church isn’t quite as generous,” she said. “We will press charges.”
It’s frustrating to have items stolen, McFarlane said. Considering how much the church contributes to the community, the thieves are basically taking away from the school food programs, and other efforts the church supports.
Considering also their inexpensive prices, people don’t have to steal, McFarlane concluded.