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$10,000 in gift cards, goods stolen from Maple Ridge Christmas charity

Last Updated Sep 22, 2020 at 3:25 pm PDT

Volunteers with the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society. (Courtesy Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society, Facebook)
Summary

Gift cards totalling $10,000 were stolen from a Christmas charity in Maple Ridge early Tuesday

The gift cards were in a safe inside a building on the property, where the Christmas Hamper Society operates

A black pickup truck was seen speeding away around the time of theft

MAPLE RIDGE (NEWS 1130) — Gift cards and goods totalling $10,000 were stolen from a Christmas charity in Maple Ridge early Tuesday.

RCMP responded to a report of a break-in at the Albion Fairgrounds, on Jim Robson Way in Maple Ridge, at about 5:30 a.m.

The gift cards were in a safe inside a building on the property, where the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society operates.

A black pickup truck was seen speeding away around the time of the theft, according to police.

“It’s disheartening for us to see that this is going on,” said Const. Julie Klaussner. “People are having difficult times as it is with all of this going on. People rely on this, so there are people who need this to get by and it helps them get through the holiday season, so it’s difficult to see that there’s going to be people potentially suffering more because of this.”

Lorraine Bates, with the Christmas Hamper Society, was just minutes away from potentially confronting those responsible.

“The safe was so heavy, they would have had to have had a vehicle, and so I think when I opened the first gate, they actually drove out,” she said. “Somebody saw a dark truck leaving the site in a hurry.”

Bates said some power tools and a first-aid kit were also taken, along with a computer, monitor, and printer.

She’s worried because the society is expecting to help about 800 families in need during the upcoming holiday season.

“Everything that was in that safe belongs to [us]. It’s a start to helping the people in our community for Christmas … and if you have a heart, please find some way to drop off the contents of the safe,” Bates said.

“We’re already tired thinking about the load we have to take on, and it just sets us back a little bit. But you know, I’ve got the best volunteers in the world, so,” she added, “I have faith.”

Anyone with more information is asked to call Ridge Meadows RCMP at 604-463-6251, File No. 2020-20784, or call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477.