Desperation breeds the most audacious of criminals. So, it seems, does ignorance.
The Cardiffian today reveals a trend currently plaguing Cardiff in which bogus charity collectors are swiping bags of unwanted clothes from donor’s doorsteps.
Those responsible for these opportunistic thefts are either oblivious to the consequences of their actions or else they simply do not care.
One might assume this to be something of a victimless crime, given the items left out for charity are, in effect, between owners.
After all, how can something be truly missed if its owner is prepared to give it away for nothing?
But this is about far more than last season’s football kit or a handbag that has seen better days. Where a charity like the Noah’s Ark Appeal is meant to be the one receiving and distributing the proceeds, what this amounts to is the denial of better care for critically ill children.
What’s more, the effect of these thefts can worsen when members of the public learn their donations are being intercepted and decide it would be pointless to keep giving.
Stealing from sick children sounds like the preserve of comic book villains. And if the thieves had any appreciation of what their actions might mean for the country’s most vulnerable people, they would surely think twice.
But where desperation takes hold, morality becomes warped. Too often does an apparent lack of malicious intent justify criminal activity in the minds of its perpetrators.