Shameless Joan and Rebecca Haire, of Highfield Avenue, admitted pilfering an unknown quantity of money from Driffield’s Sue Ryder charity shop.
The devious duo were caught out after the charity noticed a shortfall in expected takings and decided to investigate.
Prosecuting, Sally Robinson, said eyebrows were raised when targets were not being met at the Middle Street South Shop. She said: “This shop was not reaching its potential so a security company placed covert cameras in the shop.”
The cameras’ footage documented 30 “suspicious” instances between September 5 and 19 last year, as volunteer Joan and assistant manager Rebecca were filmed pocketing customers’ money.
The charity’s takings were even used to buy Rebecca’s lunch, after she handed coins to another volunteer to purchase her a sandwich on September 19.
And Joan was also caught stealing two pairs of trousers as well as money used to buy the shop’s stock.
Joan, 53, and Rebecca, 31, both pleaded guilty to theft by employee at East Riding Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday (March 16).
In mitigation, Gary Quantick said they were “extremely sorry” and that it was “a sad day for the Haire family”.
He added Rebecca: "was employed by the charity for seven years and became assistant manager. She was a good employee and well thought of.
“Her income was small and most went on utilities and rent.”
Mr Quantick said Rebecca’s thieving “snowballed” after she pocketed a customer’s money on one occasion and didn’t put it in the till.
“She’s thoroughly ashamed of herself. Her good character is gone,” he added.
“Joan worked as a volunteer in the shop for two years. She had been unusually honest. She saw Rebecca do it on one occasion and foolishly copied it.
“All this started innocently. They are both extremely sorry. They would like to put something back into the community.”
Sentencing the pair to 120 hours of unpaid work each, chairman of the bench Dr David Webster told them: “Not your finest hour - stealing from a charity.
“We are going to sentence you to a community order for 12 months. You will also pay a £60 victim surcharge and £85 costs.
“We don’t feel we can quantify how much you have stolen, so we are not in a position to order compensation.”
Both were allowed to walk free from court and hid their faces from our reporter.
The charity they stole from, Sue Ryder, supports people with complex needs and life-threatening illnesses.
Speaking after the sentencing David Borrett, director of retail at Sue Ryder, said: “It is very disappointing that anyone would target a charity shop that raises money for to care for dying people and their loved ones who are already going through the most difficult time of their lives.
“Following the recent verdict we would like to draw a line under this difficult period and would like to thank all our loyal customers and staff for their continued support.
“Sue Ryder remains committed to upholding the highest possible standards of trading across our 450 shops nationwide.”