Gangs Steel £50k From Charities

Britain is reporting that one of the top thefts is of charity clothing, a theft that not only affects shops, but people in need as well.

A gang of crime lords worked to hold fake charity donations, as well as stealing directly from the charities who help the needy around the UK. 

Crime gangs targeted charity shops around the country, stealing up to 50 thousand pounds worth of clothing this year alone. It appears that the clothes are stolen in the UK and shipped to Eastern Europe where they are sold in high street shops for higher profits. 

"It is an emerging threat and there is a huge international market for these clothes," Detective Chief Superintendent Steve Head told The London Times.

The gangs work in teams that steal bags off doorsteps, or put bags on doorsteps for individuals and families to fill with goods. In November 2011, police discovered a bin of clothing weighting 20 tons leaving Essex, heading towards Eastern Europe. The bin contained 3,000 bags for charities from across the country such as Clothes Aid and The British Heart Foundation.

One head gang member was caught after stealing 40,000 pounds worth of clothes. Arnas Gasiunas was found guilty on five charges of theft. Detectives were tipped off in 2010 from a worker at Clothes Aid who saw a decline in donations. The charity works to collect clothing for the needy and to sell in charity shops to support the foundation. 

Charities find the most success collecting items from door-to-door, so people hesitating to leave clothes on their doorstep greatly affects the incoming items for donation.

Ultimately it leaves charities in a lurk. Detectives feel that Gasiunas was a driving force in the crime ring, and now that he’s caught and facing harsh punishment it will deter others from copycatting the crime.

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