Thieves target charity donations

This new, bigger and ‘‘more secure’’ donation box was set in concrete at the Cardrona Valley Bra...
This new, bigger and ‘‘more secure’’ donation box was set in concrete at the Cardrona Valley Bra Fence in July. PHOTO: KELLY SPAANS
A new steel collection box concreted into the ground at the Cardrona Valley Bra Fence has not deterred thieves from breaking the lock and stealing hundreds of dollars intended for breast cancer research.

The Cardrona owner and operator Kelly Spaans said she was alerted to the theft at the weekend from the Breast Cancer Foundation NZ.

Five years ago, the bra fence was moved to the driveway of Cardrona Distillery and The Cardrona, a horse-trekking and quad-biking centre, and Ms Spaans took on the voluntary job of taking the donations to Queenstown to be banked.

A much bigger and more solid metal collection box was concreted into place last July in preparation for October Breast Cancer Awareness month.

Ms Spaans said metal filings were on the ground around the box "so someone was really determined to break the lock.''

On average about $500 in foreign and New Zealand notes and coins was donated each week, she said.

She had reported the incident to police but was concerned the design of the collection box was the same as those used by the Department of Conservation.

"If they know they can get into the Doc ones, they are going to be going around ripping off them, too, and they can make a good living off it,'' she said.

Ms Spaans was considering installing a security camera.

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