People are animals!
AFTER months of being targeted by scavengers and thieves, the Currumbin Animal Welfare League (AWL) is being forced to relocate.
Week and after week, people have been coming to the shop after it closes, fossicking through the donations and scattering rubbish around the front of the premises.
The op-shop’s landlord, who also lives above the store, said enough was enough and did not renew its lease.
AWL shop manager, Tania Rankine, said it was a very unfortunate situation, although alternative space had been found for the shop two blocks away.
“Our customers are devastated,” she said. “We have been here for three years.”
Ms Rankine, who has managed the Currumbin branch for five years, also manages the Miami store, but said Currumbin was always the worst hit by scroungers.
The Christmas period has been particularly problematic.
“We filled a one-tonne truck with garbage,” Ms Rankine said. “People just use it as a tip.”
Landlord Bob Whiley said he couldn’t deal with it any more.
“It’s sad because I really like all the volunteers there and I like the shop,” he said.
“But I have a family and I can’t allow people to just be hanging around my front door making a mess almost every night.
“I can’t get to sleep. It’s really unnerving,”
Mary Hay, who volunteers at the store, said people continued to leave worthless goods on the premises after they closed up.
“We completely appreciate valuable and useful donations, but some stuff I would be embarrassed to put in my rubbish bin,” she said.
“Things like old rusty mowers.”
Mr Whiley said it had recently become so bad that he had taken to using a camera on thieves he caught in the act.
“People just pull up in their cars, walk over and flat-out steal things,” he said. “When I tell them they are donations for the AWL, they take no notice. So I get my camera out and take a photo of their rego.
“I saw one lady steal two really nice white bar stools one night, so I took a picture of her rego.
“She saw me do it before she drove away, and the next day the chairs were back, so I think it freaked her out a little bit.”
Ms Rankine said although the new place was nice and new, it did not compare with the character of their current residence.
“There is no onsite parking at the new place,” she said. “And there are stairs which many of our elderly customers and mothers with prams will struggle with,” she said.
The AWL will move from number 2 to number 35 Currumbin Creek Road towards the end of February.