An unbelievable incident

A warning to all charity shops with donation boxes.

Not even in charity shops do robbers stop to think. Half an hour before closing time, a young Portuguese man prowled around our Charity Bazaar in Estói, trying to find something for his “grandmother”. After choosing his “present”, he went “home” to fetch the money. On his return, a couple of minutes later, the young man asked if one could wrap up the chosen “present”. During this time, he frequently stood at the entrance door, as if watching out for someone. Noticing his strange behaviour, the shop assistant prepared herself for something to happen. Within a split second, the man snatched our huge donation bottle, a one metre see-through Coca-Cola bottle, and ran out of the shop, around the corner, down to a waiting friend on a motorbike. With the huge bottle between them, they raced off! There was nobody in sight to call for help. This happened so quickly and so accurately that it was definitely a planned robbery.

This letter is to warn all the other charity shops in the Algarve, which have donation boxes on view, to take precautions. Our smaller donation ‘giraffe’ box was stolen without anyone even noticing, but we never expected anybody to even attempt to steal our one metre tall bottle! We were fortunate that the thief was not armed.

Carol Göller

Charity Bazaar, Estói