Monday, 23 July 2018

Charity shop miniature dog snatched

AN essential member of the team at a charity shop in Henley has been stolen.

AN essential member of the team at a charity shop in Henley has been stolen.

Dachsie, a life-sized dachshund model, was taken from the window display at the Blue Cross store in Duke Street.

He was used to model products that are sold in the shop, such as dog leads and collars, and had a tag, saying “strictly not for sale”. 

At the time of the theft, the stuffed dog was modelling a lead, harness and collar with attachable “poop bag carrier”, worth a total of about £50. The lead was attached to the sleeve of a shirt on a mannequin in the window.

The attachable accessory and harness were removed by the thief and left in the window.

A woman was caught on the store’s CCTV cameras appearing to remove Dachsie from the display and place him on top of her bag before wandering around the store browsing for another 30 seconds and then leaving.

The incident took place on Friday, November 20 at about 3.40pm.

The model was bought for the store by shop manager Vikki Tee about two years ago to help market Blue Cross products.

Miss Tee, 30, from Stoke Row, said: “He comes with us to events. He had become a mascot for us and really was part of the team.

“I know it might sound silly saying that about an inanimate object but we can’t have real animals in the store so he made up for that. He brought a bit of fun to work life, not that it isn’t fun, but he gave everyone a smile.

“I bought him on Amazon. I could buy a replacement but I want that one back.

“In the footage you can see the woman have a look at him, then take the items off and leave them in the window. They were just shoved where he had been. Dachsie is not in the bag, he is on top of it.”

Miss Tee, who has run the store for more than four years, said the model was more tightly stuffed than an average toy animal, which made him “perfect” for displaying items.

She said: “He would model the harness or the lead. The theft is frustrating as in the past customers have bought a harness because they could check the size based on the model. They could see if it was bigger or smaller on him in comparison to their dog.”

Dachsie is about a 1ft tall and coloured mostly black with tanned patches, including his bottom.

Miss Tee said: “We’ve been asked many times if he is for sale because he is such a desirable item, especially for children, but I have no idea why someone would want to take him.

“It seems someone wanted it but did not want to pay. I do not know what goes through somone’s head when they steal something. I can’t understand it. It’s not about the money, it’s about the sentimental value.”

The CCTV cameras were installed at the store at the start of this year and were paid for by Miss Tee and assistant manager Hayley Wainwright.

“We used to have a lot of thefts before the cameras were installed,” said Miss Tee.  “Maybe this person thought they were dummy cameras or wasn’t taking them seriously but since we have had them the number of thefts has been reduced.”

There is now a sign in the shop appealing for help to find Dachsie and Miss Tee said customers came in daily asking what had happened to him.

Mrs Wainwright, who lives in Shiplake, said: “I have no idea why someone would want to take it. I think they have just taken a liking to him.

“I guess someone who would steal from here would do it anywhere.

“Dachsie was like our little mascot. It’s not the same without him.”

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