When thieves stole a charity tin belonging to an 11-year-old boy the community was up in arms.
What followed was an extraordinary show of community heart, with generous donors pouring in four times the original amount in as many hours.
But in a bitter blow to the Wagga family who launched the appeal, their Forsyth Street shop was again targeted at the weekend – it was the last straw for the family.
Owner Malcolm Hagen has vowed to shut his doors after the break-in, which came hot on the heels of the charity tin theft.
“We were starting to feel positive again and then having this has really knocked us about,” Mr Hagen said.
“When it happens you do tend to take it personally … financially it’s hard but the emotional part is very difficult.”
Mr Hagen said the shop – and the family’s car – had been repeatedly targeted by vandals.
This time, a brick uplifted from the footpath was hurtled through the front window.
“We were devastated. We haven’t even been reimbursed for the first incident yet,” Mr Hagen said.
“To see it happen again, it’s hit home for all of us.”
In a case of hard luck, Saturday was supposed to be a celebration of his son’s fundraising efforts for Angels for the Forgotten.
Bryce Hagen was able to raise more than $1200 for the charity and presented the cheque at the weekend.
“When it got stolen (Bryce) was hurt by that. That was 18 months work to save that $250,” Mr Hagen said.
“But the outpouring of support is not something we expected.”
Bryce Hagen was overwhelmed with the community effort and said it was “fantastic” the way people had dug deep.
“I just want to say thank you to everyone,” he said.
Mr Hagen said it was time to show people intent on breaking the law they were part of a “select few” spoiling the pot.
“People do want to do the right thing and don’t want to see that type of behaviour,” he said.
“It’s trying to show that select few that there is good community support.”
Police continue to investigate the incident. It is understood CCTV footage from the adjoining McDonald’s restaurant may be able to assist with the investigation.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.