A man was arrested for theft during the launch of a scheme to reduce crime in charity shops in Bury, Greater Manchester.
Bury Safe, a community safety partnership, donated CCTV cameras to 10 charity shops. But last week's launch of the initiative at the town's PDSA shop was interrupted when police arrested a man on suspicion of stealing from it.
Lekha Klouda, executive secretary of the Association of Charity Shops, said charity shop theft was rife.
"Larger retailers have sophisticated security systems that have displaced the shoplifting problem," she said. "But charity shops are suffering."
A spokeswoman for Bury Safe said: "Charity shops don't stock rubbish, and shoplifters know it. They have high-quality clothing on their rails, and shoplifters have been taking advantage of their lack of security."