OUTRAGED: Southside Pharmacy owner Michael Herrman views CCTV footage of thieves taking the guide dog donation statue.
OUTRAGED: Southside Pharmacy owner Michael Herrman views CCTV footage of thieves taking the guide dog donation statue. Jay Cronan

Thieves' mongrel act

IT COULD only be described as a mongrel act.

Staff at Lismore's Southside Pharmacy have lashed out at the brazen thieves who made off with a guide dog collection statue, used to raise money needed to train helpful pups to help blind humans.

“It's a mongrel job,” pharmacy worker Kerri Elliot said.

“A guide dog. Of all the things to flog. If they are going to be this brazen in the daylight what's going to happen next?”

However, the joke is on the thieves. Vision Australia had recently emptied the statue, meaning they would have got little money from it - although pharmacy owner Michael Herrmann said the statue alone would cost up to $500 to replace - and the theft was filmed by security cameras that will help police catch them.

Pharmacy nursing assistant Kim Donovan said two men worked as a team to pull off the theft, with one man distracting staff while the other made off with the guide dog statue.

“It was a well planned theft,” she said.

“I think it's a very brazen and demoralising situation that's happened.

“They must have been very desperate.”

Ms Donovan said the man doing the distracting had been so subtle she did not realise what he was doing until she was later watching the surveillance footage.

“I served a gentlemen who asked about paw-paw cream products,” she said.

“He wanted to know the different sizes, prices and I got the info for him. Then he approached another assistant after myself and I think another two in the pharmacy.”

Ms Elliot said the guide dog had been popular with customers.

“Every Saturday a mother and her daughter come in to make a gold coin donation into the statue, along with vision-impaired customers and their families,” she said.

“But they won't be able to any more. It's just sad.”

Senior Constable Angela Graham, of Lismore police, said the thieves escaped in a blue Holden Commodore or Ford Falcon.

Police have not yet identified the thieves, but investigations are continuing. Anyone with information should call Lismore police on 6626 0599 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.



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