Year of the Rat: Dragon Boat BC reports office break-in, major theft

Competitors race during the Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival on False Creek in Vancouver, B.C., on Sunday June 22, 2014. Darryl Dyck/ The Canadian Press

It may be a few more days until the Lunar New Year, but the Year of the Rat appears to have started early for Dragon Boat BC.

The organization, which runs the Dragon Zone Paddling Club and Vancouver’s annual Concord Pacific Dragon Boat Festival, says someone broke into its office in Vancouver’s Creekside Community Centre on Sunday night.

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According to the group, the thieves made off with computers, an office safe, ceremonial drums and paddles, files and thousands of red envelopes stuffed prizes for Lunar New Year celebrations this weekend.

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“We are upset at the theft of computer equipment, but more importantly, the items that wouldn’t have a monetary value to the thieves,” said Dragon Boat BC general manager Alexis Gall in a media release.

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“As a not-for-profit organization, it’s disappointing to lose the work that our volunteers and staff performed.”

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The organization says the loss will be partially covered by insurance, but added that a “significant amount of labour” will be needed to get things running ship-shape again.

It said volunteers and the paddling community have stepped up to try and replace the red envelopes for the coming weekend’s Year of the Rat celebrations.

Global News has requested confirmation of the break-in and further details from Vancouver police.

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