Burglar steals charity cash and model whale

NICOLE MATHEWSON
Last updated 15:01 13/06/2014
Donation box stolen from Fresh Choice
Supplied

SNATCHED: An old photograph of the donation box and model whale stolen from a Christchurch supermarket. Charitable trust owner Kenneth Weaver said the box contained more donations at the time of the burglary.

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A brazen burglar broke into a Christchurch supermarket overnight, stealing only a model whale display box and the donated cash held inside.

Kenneth Weaver, whose charitable trust owned the stolen donation box, said a man broke into the Parklands Fresh Choice Supermarket overnight.

The burglar set off the store's alarm and was inside for only a minute before taking off with the figurine and cash kept near the front counters.

Weaver understood no other items were taken during the break-in. 

The whale and donation box for the Kenneth F Weaver Charitable Trust had been on display in the supermarket since February.

Weaver estimated the box contained about $2000 in donations that would have been passed on to the Department of Conservation (DOC) to help protect the country's whales. 

Weaver, aged 80, said he had been running the charitable trust for about 40 years and ''never dreamed that anyone would do that''. 

''There's some funny buggers in this world.''

The minke whale model was about 46 centimetres long and was ''museum standard''.

''A lot of people at Parklands would have made a donation. They wouldn't have expected it to be stolen,'' Weaver said.

Parklands Fresh Choice owner Julian Brown said he was disappointed the donation box had been stolen after it was "generously filled by our local community for such a great cause".

"We are sad to see this generosity undone in such a callous way."

The supermarket and the Kenneth F Weaver Charitable Trust would be making a $2000 donation to DOC for its whale conservation programme to "honour the efforts of our wonderful community", Brown said. 

"The Department of Conservation were the intended recipients of the donations and we believe this should still be the case."

The supermarket was also offering a reward of $500 worth of Fresh Choice grocery vouchers for the safe return of the whale model to police, Brown said. 

Anyone with information is asked to contact Christchurch police on 03 363 7400, or provide information anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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