VIDEO footage of a woman allegedly taking items from a charity bin has been posted on a social media site dedicated to recording community crimes in Toowoomba.

The grainy footage shows a woman rummaging through items left in Vinnies Toowoomba charity bins and also sorting through items nearby.

"So over seeing this," the woman who posted the video said.

The woman, who asked not to be named, said there was a constant flow of people stealing from the bins at Long St every weekend.

"I hate having to live down the road from this! So much theft going on these days."

The footage sparked a debate about whether people in need should be allowed to take items that will eventually be sold at a discounted rate.

A woman is seen taking items from a Vinnies charity bin.
A woman is seen taking items from a Vinnies charity bin.

One woman said: "Poor lady was probably in need.

"Not everyone is educated, she possibly doesn't even know that what she's doing is stealing. If I dropped anything off at Lifeline and watched someone take it, it wouldn't bother me one bit."

Another woman said: "I actually find this sad... that they cop so much judgement but they're obviously in some form of need.

"Most people who drop at a bin don't care, and if its dropped outside the bin, you should know there's a high chance of it being destroyed. It's better off being taken."

Should people in need be allowed to take items from charity bins?

This poll ended on 06 March 2017.

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This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Another woman said people needed to be more considerate about the way they left items.

"This is terrible and it happens at every drop off.

"Dirty old mattresses and things they can't use.

"They have to spend money on having it all taken away.

"People need to just take their (things) to the tip.

"Bag up the washed clothes nicely and put it in the bin. If it's full. Come back when they're open.

"I spoke to a man there one day and he said he had to go through boxes of clothes one day that had random dirty disposable nappies in it. I said you're a better man than me because I would have burnt them. This is sad."

The woman who filmed the incident said she did not contact police as she assumed the woman would have left by the time authorities arrived.

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