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Editor's Blog and Industry Comments

Motorcyclists track stolen clothes.

29 November, 2007
Charity workers in the UK are fighting back against gangs of thieves who are stealing bags of clothes destined for Clothes Aid charity.
Charities have always been seen as easy pickings for thieves but finally the last straw has landed with a thud onto the camel's back and Clothes Aid in the UK, in a fit of dizziness from turning the other cheek, has struck back at thieves with a Government backed campaign to prevent losses of goods donated for charitable ends.

With liveried collection vehicles and uniforms for operatives, it would be hard not to recognise Clothes Aid workers as they come round your neighbourhood collecting the bags they've left for you to donate old clothes that you no longer need. With this change comes a message that if you see other people collecting the bags from your street, do something about it because they're undoubtedly thieves out to profit from your charitability.

Its surprising what people throw out and Clothes Aid regularly collects garments that people no longer need that have significant value. If you think they're just moth-eaten cardigans that Grandad has worn holes into the elbows of, you're very much mistaken. Carefully laundered guide uniforms, as-new karate suits and even designer ball gowns make up some of the haul that the charity workers collect and last year, Clothes Aid raised over half a million pounds â€" rich pickings indeed for bogus collectors picking up bags from doorsteps. Add other charities that operate in a similar way to this and its possible to see the potential for organised crime. With the popularity of car boot sales and public auctions, the ability to turn this into untraceable cash is laughably easy.

In response to these losses, Clothes Aid has deployed motorcyclists to find and follow the bag thieves and this has already resulted in an incredible 85 arrests which is great news for charities everywhere.
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