Bags of Charity Clothing Recovered - Update
Three people were arrested after a large quantity of charity bags were found in the back of a van near Kidderminster.
The van was stopped by officers on the A449 Wolverhampton Road on Wednesday afternoon, 3 October.
In the back were 76 Troop Aid charity bags full of clothing, which had been collected from the village of Cookley.
One man was charged with theft and fraud by false representation. Markas Frolovas, aged 34, of Marshall Street, Smethwick, appeared before Kidderminster magistrates yesterday afternoon, Thursday 4 October, and was remanded in custody to appear back at the same court on Monday, 8 October.
The other two were released without charge.
PC Nathan Finnimore of West Mercia Police said: "We have had problems from time to time right across North Worcestershire with a number of different charities having charity bags stolen.
"Charities rely on donations of unwanted clothing and goods for their shops, and we do not want to put people off donating.
"However we are urging them to look carefully at any bags or leaflets which come through their door before donating items, and particularly to ensure that it is the charity that has put the bags through the door as opposed to criminals using genuine charity bags that have been stolen or bags which have been copied from genuine bags."
Anyone with information about bogus collectors can contact West Mercia Police on 0300 333 3000 or ring the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
The charity bags recovered on Wednesday have been passed on to Troop Aid by the police.
Troop Aid, a Birmingham based charity, is experiencing a number of similar problems and is liaising with Birmingham City Council trading standards officers.
The charity said bags with a Union Flag design asking for unwanted clothing were genuine, providing that on the reverse of the bag it had its registered charity number 1123888 and the name of Midlands Textile Ltd. Troop Aid is not associated with any other company collecting unwanted clothing.
Neither Troop Aid nor Midlands Textile Ltd distributes flyers.
The charity's website has more information on http://www.troopaid.info/, or anyone concerned about whether collections are genuine can ring its helpline number 0845 5577682 (9am and 4pm) or 0798 251 1148 (out of hours).
Issued: Friday, 05 October 2012