The Canadian Cancer Society in Mission was cleaned out recently, the latest in a string of robberies targeting local charities.
The culprits broke in through the break room, burrowing through the drywall and crawling out of a cupboard to rob the charity of cash and fundraiser prizes.
“To realize that that was taken…it was quite devastating,” said Canadian Cancer Society volunteer Beverly Dixon.
The elaborate break-in happened overnight on Jan. 16.
The thieves first hit a barbershop then broke through the wall to a vacant office before finally getting to the Cancer Society.
They stole thousands of dollars that were pegged to help children with cancer. The money and auction items were part of a fundraiser to send them to Camp Goodtimes, a place where kids can just be kids during their difficult journey.
“They just need our help. So in this society, it’s extremely difficult to understand why someone would steal from a child with cancer,” Dixon said.
“They’re a vulnerable group as they oftentimes deal with cash donations,” said Mission RCMP Sgt. Shaun Wright.
Thieves may also be exploiting the fact charities often choose selflessness over heightened security.
“Charities are always under pressure to make close to 100 per cent of all donations go directly to the groups that they’re attempting to help,” Wright said. “Oftentimes they make hard choices over what overhead items they cut out of their budget.”
The Canadian Cancer Society is repairing the damage and spending money to ensure this doesn’t happen again.
“That’s that much money that could have been used to help somebody rather than be put into our security system,” said Canadian Cancer Society volunteer Betty Bergen.
“How can you take from vulnerable helpless child?” Dixon asked.
– With files from John Hua
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