Langley thrift store poppy donation box stolen

The theft of a poppy donation box in Langley Thursday feels like something of a double insult.

Someone stole the poppy box around 1 p.m. on Nov. 6 from the Bibles for Mission Thrift Store, a charity willing to collect on behalf of veterans.

“Any time we deal with theft it is disheartening,” said thrift store manager Jonelle Mace. “We consider Langley a great community to part of, and we help those in need however we can. We are 95 per cent volunteer run, and they are all good and hard working people who really believe in what we’re doing.”

The store at 5785 200th St. had, like so many businesses and community groups this time of year, a box of poppies on the front counter.

People make donations which support veterans and programs of the Royal Canadian Legion.

“What a tragedy during a time when we are especially remembering and paying tribute to those who fought for our freedom,” Mace said.

The poppies are a vital source of income for the Langley Legion and others, with the campaign only running in the couple of weeks prior to Remembrance Day.

The thrift store manager said they have been in contact with the RCMP about the theft and a file is open.

“We don’t know how much was stolen as it is a sealed box. We do know the box was full,” Mace said.

The thrift store has also been scouring its surveillance system for evidence.

Even for a thrift store, a security system is a necessity.

There are people kept an eye on in the store due to theft issues, she explained.

“We’ve had a guy steal money from the cash register in the middle of a sale, and a couple of botched attempts of breaking into our office after hours,” she said.

But the thrift store that raises money to provide Bibles abroad doesn’t just rely on prayer.

“We have a couple of law enforcement officials on our volunteer force so we have been well taught,” she added.

The store will protect itself from people who think they will get away with stealing from charity.

“We have taken extra measures to deal with an increase in theft and we will continue to do what we can to protect the store,” she said. “We have been in Langley for over 20 years and theft has only recently become an issue. Perhaps there is a thought out there that thrift stores are more vulnerable and less equipped, but we are equipped.”

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