Edmonton charity rattled by costly theft, vandalism of delivery trucks: ‘I was disgusted’

Click to play video: 'Edmonton charity rattled by theft, vandalism of delivery trucks and catalytic converters'
Edmonton charity rattled by theft, vandalism of delivery trucks and catalytic converters
Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, an Edmonton charity that donates furniture to people in need, believes it has become an easy target for thieves after two of their delivery trucks were targeted the same night. As Dan Grummett reports, it's the latest in a rash of expensive crime the charity has dealt with. – Jan 13, 2023

An Edmonton charity that provides donated furniture and household items to people in need is scrambling to change schedules after a pair of incidents involving its delivery trucks.

Security footage taken from a St. Albert church parking lot the night of Jan. 10 shows two people, a man and woman, approaching one of the trucks in question.

The decals on the side clearly indicate it belongs to the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul.

The man can be seen successfully breaking into the cab, where he remained for nearly a minute before leaving the area with the woman.

On the same night, another delivery truck belonging to the same charity was stolen from a parking lot in the Argyll area, near Coronet Road and 86 Street.

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Volunteers discovered the crimes the following morning.

“Two trucks in one evening. I’m very suspicious,” said president Randy Yatscoff, who isn’t sold that the timing is a coincidence.

“I think people see our trucks are parked in certain areas and they drive around the city and they plan this. I don’t know whether it’s the same group.”

Society of Saint Vincent de Paul president Randy Yatscoff speaks to media inside the charity’s furniture warehouse in central Edmonton. All goods are donated by the public. Dan Grummett / Global News

It’s just the latest blow for the charity that has been victims of theft six times in the past 18 months, Yatscoff said.

Each time, the target was the truck’s catalytic converters, which he estimates have cost the society more than $24,000 to repair and replace.

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“Any money we have to do to repair the trucks takes away from giving to the poor,” said Yatscoff, who added there is damage to the driver’s side handle of the truck involved in the St. Albert incident.

Yatscoff said the society assists 10,000 individuals and families annually.

The incidents have been reported to both the Edmonton Police Service  and St. Albert RCMP.

“Police told us the truck, (we) stand a very low chance of getting it back,” Yatscoff said.

Edmonton police told Global News it was investigating the theft of the 2016 Isuzu NPR HD which as Alberta license plate CDY 0360.

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