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Riverview Boys and Girls Club needs to raise $4K to repair, secure vandalized vehicles

Click to play video: 'New Brunswick non-profit hit by break-ins'
New Brunswick non-profit hit by break-ins
All of the vehicles at the Riverview Boys and Girls Club have been damaged following attempted break-ins over the weekend. The non-profit now needs roughly $4,000 to cover repairs and additional security measures. Suzanne Lapointe reports – Feb 28, 2024

All of the vehicles at the Riverview Boys and Girls Club have been damaged following alleged attempted car thefts over the weekend.

That leaves the non-profit scrambling to fundraise the $4,000 needed to repair the vehicles as well as implement new security measures, according to Executive Director Lynda Carey.

“We need to, obviously, make some changes in the way we look after things around here. Just locking the vehicles isn’t enough,” she said on Wednesday.

Carey said a staff member alerted her a van had been broken into on Monday.

“We went out to check on it. You could see immediately this was done by someone who knew what they were doing.”

She said that on one of their two 12-seater vans, the lock had been popped, the undercarriage below the steering wheel had been removed, and the ignition had been broken off and taken out.

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The ignition was removed from this vehicle over the weekend. Suzanne Lapointe / Global News

That vehicle is inoperable and has been taken in for repairs.

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There has also been damage done to the locks on their other 12-seater van as well as their 20-seater bus.

Carey said only having two of their three vehicles has resulted in children waiting longer to be picked up at school for their after-school program.

She said it wasn’t the first time they dealt with vehicle problems, as they found that someone had drilled a hole in one of the gas tanks last year.

The Dieppe Boys and Girls Club dealt with a similar issue in the summer, according to executive director Paula Albers.

Dieppe Boys and Girls Club executive director Paula Albers said their vehicles were vandalized in the summer. Suzanne Lapointe / Global News

“We had one time where the gas tank of our bus was drilled and the gas leaked out all over the place,” she said.

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“The catalytic converter was stolen as well.”

Albers said that added up to $6,000 in repairs, which was partially covered by insurance and contributions from parents.

“We still took a loss,” she said.

Their vehicles are now locked up in the Town of Dieppe’s gated compound each night, free of charge.

Albers said she’s very grateful for the help, and they haven’t had any issues with their vehicles since they started doing this.

Still, it presents its own challenges, as staff need to drop their personal cars off at the compound to retrieve the club’s vehicles before their shift.

“It’s a lot of back and forth,” Albers said.

She said eventually, the club wants to fundraise to have their own on site compound for the vehicles.

Sgt Nick Arbour of the Codiac RCMP said an investigation into the damages done to the vehicles at the Riverview Boys and Girls Club is currently underway.

Anyone with information is asked to contact them.

Click to play video: 'New Brunswick students stepping up to repair damage caused by vandals'
New Brunswick students stepping up to repair damage caused by vandals

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