HAPPIER TIMES: Rachel Luck from Beautiful You feels sorry for shoplifters.
HAPPIER TIMES: Rachel Luck from Beautiful You feels sorry for shoplifters. Kristy Muir

Cancer charity installs CCTV to combat thieves

STEALING is one thing, but stealing from a charity created to help cancer patients has to be the lowest of the low.

Beautiful You Cancer Charity's funky op shop in Norval Ct, Maroochydore, has found so many items missing off the shelves in the four weeks since opening, staff have resorted to installing CCTV cameras.

Founder Debbie Clayton said a disappointing amount of "theft in store" had occurred.

The op shop, which moved from Sugar Rd to the larger premises, has quickly been gaining a reputation as possibly the most creative-looking op shop on the Sunshine Coast.

The business doesn't just offer beautifully presented pre-loved clothing, but also offers the opportunity for customers to buy a cup of coffee and have a chat while browsing.

But the new location seems to have attracted an unwanted element.

"We had theft in the other store, but not as much as this," Ms Clayton said.

While shop volunteers had noticed clothes missing off the shelves, it was the theft of a "rather large lucky elephant" that was the final straw.

"They take the clothing off the hangers and then leave the hangers in another part of the shop," Ms Clayton said. "It's hard to estimate exactly how much has been taken."

Ms Clayton believed they must be working "in a group".

Despite the constant theft, Ms Clayton hasn't lost her faith in humanity.

"Actually, I feel sad for them," she said.

"All they have to do is ask (if they need help)."

Tom Lysaught, from Buderim's Sectel Security, also proved to be a knight in shining armour, donating the CCTV cameras and monitors needed to keep a watchful eye on store items.

"He was wonderful - he spent seven hours in the shop last Saturday," Ms Clayton said.

Ms Clayton started Beautiful You four years ago.

She hopes to soon be able to offer massage therapy in the new op shop. Her ultimate goal is to create a retreat on the Sunshine Coast.