A brazen theft at an op-shop raising money for orphans has left the charity out of pocket, and has been labelled "disgusting" by police.
The Orphans Aid Op-shop on Russell St, Hastings, was targeted by thieves on Monday morning. The criminals entered the store while it was busy and stole a number of items - including manager Gabriela James' handbag.
Ms James handbag contained her purse and keys which left her without money, identification and access to her house, car and the shop.
"We are trying to raise money for orphans overseas, every bit of money we send is a huge amount to them but now we have to pay to get our locks changed and increase security," she said.
"I am scared they will come back, I feel very vulnerable."
Hawke's Bay police constable Deborah Potter condemned the thieves actions.
"I think it's disgusting," she said.
"I guess our clientele don't differentiate between shops and charities and it's pretty terrible."
Orphans Aid International is a registered New Zealand charity and has seven shops around the country to provide support to orphans in places such as Russia, India and Romania.
The charity also provides counselling services to people affected by the Christchurch earthquakes.
Ms James said the stolen handbag was a large, black bag with a big bow on the front. The jewellery taken was a distinctive red, wooden-beaded necklace and the sunglasses had dark, rainbow lenses.
Ms James said she was embarrassed to send an unnecessary bill to charity headquarters.
"I feel so ashamed to be sending a bill to the office when I'm raising money, and every dollar goes to the orphans. They have to pay rent and power and now I'm sending extras bill to get the locks changed."
Mrs Potter said police had been acting on a few tips, as there were a number of incidents around the same time that may be related.