Royal Canadian Legion volunteer not a poppy donation thief: Strathmore RCMP

Strathmore RCMP said the poppy donation thefts they reported earlier were unfounded. Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail

RCMP have confirmed that a man they were initially looking for after poppy donation boxes were taken last week in Strathmore, Alta., is not a thief — it was an “unfortunate mix-up.”

Police recanted their earlier plea for help identifying a suspect, stating that no theft occurred. After confirming with local Legion branches, RCMP said they determined the complaint was unfounded.

“This was a misunderstanding involving a very eager volunteer who went above and beyond and collected boxes that he was not tasked to collect,” a news release from RCMP said on Saturday. “The money is accounted for and is where it belongs.”

Cpl. Laurel Scott said the person who made the complaint wasn’t aware of the man’s involvement.

“There was a lack of communication between the co-ordinator in the area [where] he was supposed to collect and the area he did collect in,” Scott said. “When that got sorted out and brought to our attention, then we’re trying to now remedy this.”
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Police initially said that on Nov. 7, a man went into a local Shell gas station claiming to be with the Royal Canadian Legion and switched out the full poppy donation box, replacing it with an empty container. He then allegedly stole the poppy donation box at the neighbouring Tim Hortons, RCMP said.

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