February 13, 2019 5:59 pm
Updated: February 21, 2019 8:32 pm

Happy ending after thieves target Surrey food bank

The Food Depot Alimentaire warehouse distributes food donations to the 61 food banks across New Brunswick

File / Global News

It was a big blow for some families in Surrey who rely on the food bank.

Someone cut through the fence of the Food Bank, located on City Parkway, and ripped the catalytic converter from one of their two vans.

The truck was used specifically for hamper deliveries to people who are not physically able to make it to the food bank.

READ MORE: Greater Vancouver Food Bank receives its largest donation ever

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Surrey Food Bank Executive Director Feezah Jaffer says the repair bill for the van and fence, plus towing costs, will be over $3,000.

But, she said after the story aired on CKNW, listeners came through to help the non-profit.

Not only that, but a car dealership offered to pay for the cost of the van repairs.

“We had a gentleman from a car dealership say he will replace the converter for free and I informed him it’s already gone in to the garage for repairs so he said we’re going to donate the cost to replace it.”

Surrey RCMP have also offered to deliver the food in one of their vans.

“The morning was so frustrating then I ended the day on such a high because the support that came in from the community was just overwhelming so a huge thank you to our community and to all of the people who called and donated and wanted to volunteer it’s just been so heartening that something so frustrating and just a bad story has turned into such a great day for us.”

Jaffer adds others have been donating online so, in the end, the theft has turned into a blessing in disguise.

READ MORE: Homeless man honoured after turning in $22K cash he found outside food bank

Turns out catalytic converters have been a hot commodity among thieves in the Whalley area this month.

Surrey RCMP Sgt. Chad Greig says between Feb. 1 and Feb. 19, 12 catalytic converters were stolen from vehicles in the Whalley area.

He says they’re a target of thieves because of the metal value and some can fetch up to $200 per unit.

“Catalytic converter thefts always seem to come and go or peak and valley but 12 since since the beginning of February is a little bit higher,” Greig said. “We had five reported last week, which is the same week that the food bank operations vehicle had their catalytic converter stolen.”

Greig adds officers will be doing hot spot patrols in the area where the majority of these thefts are taking place.

He’s also reminding people to park in well-lit and well-travelled areas.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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