Following a burglary at the Wanaka Hospice Shop at the
weekend, volunteers (from left) Bev Rudkin and Penny Wilson
and the owner of the shop building Yeverley McCarthy
inspect the empty till and a panel of the shop's front door
which was removed to gain entry. Photo by Lucy Ibbotson.
Volunteers at Wanaka's Hospice Shop are ''devastated''
the charity store was burgled at the weekend, just four weeks
Valuable items given by the community were stolen in the
burglary, which was discovered yesterday morning by the owner
of the building, Yeverley McCarthy.
Along with $260 cash taken from the till, the most expensive
jewellery, china and silver in the shop was specifically
targeted, hospice shop assistant manager Penny Wilson said.
''Someone's been in here obviously scouting, knowing exactly
what they were going to take ... someone who knows the value
The shop was burgled some time after it closed at 2.30pm on
Saturday and before mid-morning on Sunday. A panel of the
front door with the handle and lock on it had been removed to
gain entry, and a suitcase full of clothing was emptied out
and probably used to carry away the stolen items.
The hospice shop is run by a pool of about 70 volunteers and
opened last month as part of a fundraising campaign to build
a hospice in Wanaka.
A group of Wanaka residents formed the Upper Clutha Hospice
Trust earlier this year and invested hours of volunteer
labour into renovating the shop premises on Ballantyne Rd and
gathering quality second-hand goods from the community to
''We spent months getting it all up to scratch and look what
they've done,'' hospice project co-founder and shop manager
Bev Rudkin said yesterday.
Mrs McCarthy said the shop had been ''a work of love'' for
the many volunteers involved and it was ''bloody
reprehensible'' someone would stoop to stealing from them.
''[The burglars] obviously don't want their mother and father
to have hospice care.''
The burglary was immediately reported to police and
volunteers were careful not to touch anything at the shop
yesterday so as to preserve evidence for an investigation.
With a garage sale and charity auction scheduled for next
Saturday at the shop and its stock now badly depleted, Mrs
Wilson issued a special plea to the community to bring in
more goods this week.
Mrs McCarthy had a separate message for those involved in the
''If people feel any guilt at all that they have stolen from
such a good cause ... we would take the gear back, no
questions asked,'' she said.