Generous Wanganui residents are lining up with financial
donations to replace money swiped from an elderly Poppy Day
But the RSA says the woman's welfare is more important than
the money stolen from her.
That's the message from Wanganui RSA general manager Dave
Large in the wake of several offers of donations to replace
the stolen money.
Two young women grabbed a bucket containing about $300 from
the woman's collection table outside a supermarket just after
1pm on Thursday. Initial reports that the culprit was a young
man were incorrect.
"Somebody's just run up and took it and ran away," Mr Large
said. People had asked the RSA to put its bank account number
online so they could donate to make up for the stolen money.
"I think it's a great gesture," he said. "But we're more
interested in the welfare of the lady than the money that was
The collector was unhurt but "fairly shaken".
Mr Large said it was important for her to know she had
"It would be nice if these young people gave the money back.
It would be nice if they got some insight into why this is so
wrong. It would be nice to try and help that person?"
The incident was "the exception" for Wanganui, he said.
Double S Motordrome owner Ray Stevens has collected $315 so
far to replace the stolen money, pledging $100 himself and
receiving another $100 from a farmer.
Other donations had come from people who had seen a post on
his Facebook page.
"It's a really negative, bad thing that's happened ... people
don't like seeing that, people want to help," Mr Stevens
He reckoned Wanganui residents were the most generous in the
He will wait to see if anybody else comes in and makes a
donation before taking the money to the RSA by Anzac Day.
Anyone with information on the theft should contact Whanganui
police on 06 349 0600 or call anonymously Crime Stoppers on
0800 555 111.
- Wanganui Chronicle