Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Theft from a charity

Surely there can be no lower, no more despicable crime than stealing from a charity.  In Plymouth last month, a news story appeared of thieves who smashed their way into the Jennycliff Cafe, overlooking Plymouth Sound, during the night.  They caused hundreds of pounds worth of damage, and stole the till float, as well as 3 charity pots belonging to the Devon Air Ambulance, the British Heart Foundation and St Lukes Hospice.

The vandals remain at large, and when caught, will face criminal prosecution and a stern sentence - though I'm sure even this won't be enough.  Charities depend on donations and public support and the sick crooks who help themselves to the charitable gains are simply the dregs of society.  (Full story here)

Transfer this to Dartmoor, and the charitable funds raised by charity walks.  For many letterboxers, these routes provide enjoyable and successful letterboxing days.  For most boxers, it was through completing these routes and finding these boxes that got them into letterboxing.  The bi-annual meets always see plenty of stalls selling these walks for a variety of good causes.  A charity walk would typically raise many hundreds of pounds, and it takes time, effort and dedication not to mention charity money to make, prepare, site and maintain such a series for a couple of seasons.

Consider then the mentality, the utter, sheer mindless and loathsome behaviour of some deranged scumbag who steals charity walk stamps or boxes from the moor.  This doesn't happen by chance.  This is someone who has the clue sheet, has donned their walking boots, and set out to remove someone else's property, sited in good faith - sited for a purpose.  Be it greed, selfishness, ignorance, bloody mindedness, or something else - it is inexcusable.  I really hope they see justice one day.  I am confident they will.

In the past 2 months, two charity walks have been stolen from the moor.  The Dartmoor Homestead Walk, sited around Row Tor in October last year, raising funds for Devon Air Ambulance, and the restoration of Poltimore House in Exeter.  And then last week, the Dartmoor Occupations Walk, only sited around Sourton Tors this Spring, was also stolen.  These sets were sited by the same letterboxer, for the same good causes.  Whilst theft of individual charity walk boxes is unfortunately not unusual, entire walks disappearing is a new and desperate event.  If you have any information on the thefts, you can email the owner of both walks - Pat (aka 'Jemima') at pat-read@o2.co.uk.

1 comment:

Jill said...

There are some weird people in this world!