Charity thieves devastate worker

SASHA BORISSENKO
Last updated 12:58 17/04/2014
Hoddy Estuary Park
MARION VAN DIJK/FAIRFAX NZ

HEART SANK: Blind Foundation Guide Dogs mobility instructor Jessica Nelipovich had items stolen from her work vehicle, including her work laptop.

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A Blind Foundation employee is distraught after more than $4000 worth of guide dog supplies were stolen from her car.

Foundation of the Blind guide dog services worker Jessica Nelipovich's heart sank when she went outside her Monaco property yesterday morning to walk her dogs, only to find all four doors to her work car flung open, with puddles on the seats.

Her laptop full of irretrievable files, a GPS system, four 14kg bags of prescription dog food, harnesses, and other equipment used solely for the purpose of training guide dogs was stolen.

"Who would steal from a charity?" she said.

She could not recall whether she locked the doors to her car.

"I expect I did because I would have never left my laptop."

It was such a violation, she said.

"I live in an incredibly quiet neighbourhood.

"What is scary is that my car sits just outside my bedroom window.

"I did not hear anything.

"I just do not understand it, most of the stuff would be incredibly useless to a burglar."

The laptop, for example, could not be functioned because it required a special password.

Her business cards were also stolen and she found this to be "particularly off-putting".

"I would hate to think there is someone out there who could be impersonating charity staff members."

It was strange that the cards were stolen and yet an expensive raincoat was left behind, she said.

For the meantime, there was no way she could work without her work resources.

Blind Foundation guide dogs head of service Paul Metcalf said they wished to support Nelipovich as best as possible.

"We will do everything we can to replace the items from our stock because they are crucial to her role."

Some, but not all, of the items were covered by insurance. It would take time to replace the equipment.

It was so disappointing that this had happened, he said.

Many of the items were specialist and would be no use to others.

He hoped the equipment would be returned.

A police spokeswoman said the car was saturated as a result of the open doors and the rain overnight and that had limited any possibility of a forensic investigation.

Police understood that the car was unlocked at the time of the incident. There were no lines of inquiry at present.

But police urged the public with any information to come forward.

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