‘Despicable act’: callous thieves target Warrnambool Salvos, Pinky’s Pizza | The standard

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Ruthless thieves stole vital funds from sick children and vulnerable adults in two unrelated burglaries in Warrnambool over the weekend. Senior Detective Wayne Ryan, of Warrnambool Police’s Criminal Investigation Unit, said it was a ‘despicable act’ to rob charities whose ‘sole purpose is to help the disadvantaged in the event of need”. He said the Salvation Army Church in Warrnambool’s Lava Street was burglarized between 5pm on Friday and 9am on Sunday. “Once inside, an unknown person or persons stole a piggy bank as well as a Les Paul guitar and an amplifier,” the detective said. He said investigators were hoping to speak to a possible male witness in his 50s, who was seen driving a white Hyundai pickup truck near the scene at the time of the break-in. “This van was seen nearby and the driver may be able to assist police with our investigation,” Senior Detective Ryan said. He said it was not yet clear how much money had been stolen from the Salvation Army, but it was a “dog act”. “Stealing directly from people in difficulty is just disgusting,” he said. Senior Detective Constable Ryan said police were also investigating a burglary at Warrnambool’s Pinky’s Pizza between 5.30am and 6.50am on Sunday. “The offender broke into an exterior wall attached to an outhouse,” he said. “Once inside, the attacker stole $565 in cash and a Royal Children’s Hospital fundraising box containing an unknown amount of cash.” The detective said the offender also stole unknown amounts of food and other company property. He said the offender fled the scene taking a shopping cart to move the stolen items. “The offender allegedly had a vehicle somewhere in the Cramond and Dickson parking lot at the back of Pinky’s Pizza,” Senior Detective Ryan said. “Police are reviewing CCTV footage of the area in hopes of identifying the assailant and the vehicle.” The owners of Pinky’s Pizza took to Facebook on Monday to express their disappointment. “When times are so tough anyway, stealing money, destroying property, preventing us from opening and depriving our staff of shifts is an absolute dog act,” the post said. “The lowest of lows included taking the Royal Children’s Hospital donation box – beyond disgusting.” The hotel was forced to open Monday at 4:30 p.m., five hours after its usual opening time. Anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers or Warrnambool Police. IN OTHER NEWS: Now just a click away with our new app: Digital subscribers now have the ability to access faster information, at their fingertips with The Standard: