CCTV cameras are usually meant to prevent crime, but in the case of a recent incident at the Leeton Community Op Shop it certainly didn't.
The shop's CCTV camera at the back of the building was removed and stolen more than a week ago and it has frustrated the community organisation.
Store manager Jodie Ridge said the camera had been in place to try to prevent theft of items left at the back of the building near its donation bin.
"We were finding sometimes people were donating items of a weekend and leaving them beside the bin ... then when we would come in on a Monday they had been rifled through and items taken," she said.
"We thought putting a camera in would help the problem, but obviously not.
"It is frustrating because these CCTV cameras are not cheap. This one was paid for using money that generated through the store.
"So now, that's an awful lot of clothes and meals we are going to have to sell to try and recover the costs of it."
The op shop holds a daily breakfast club from 8am where residents can fuel up before a big day. Lunch is also available, which is cooked fresh each day for $4.
Mrs Ridge said a bicycle was also stolen at the same time the camera was taken.
"Our whole role is to help people in the community, especially those who might be finding things tough ... instead of doing something like this, come in and see us and we would only be too happy to see what we can do to help," she said.
"That's what we do here."
Residents wanting to donate items outside of the store's hours and find they have too much for the bin, can always arrange for the shop's truck to come and pick up the donations.
"It doesn't have to be for bulky items, we will come and get your donations, even if it's just one bag," Mrs Ridge said.
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