Grinch steals $6,000 in gift cards intended for families in need
VANCOUVER -- Police are investigating a "deplorable" theft that targeted a Surrey, B.C. charity that provides Christmas gifts to families in need.
The RCMP said a Grinch broke into the Surrey Christmas Bureau on Wednesday morning and snatched $6,000 worth of gift cards and several drones that were intended for teenagers.
“Today I have 88 families coming through the toy depot that have teenagers, and I have no gifts for them,” said the bureau's executive director Lisa Werring.
Werring said the organization doesn’t receive as many donations for teenagers as it does for other age groups. The gift cards are used to make up for that lack of supply.
Three laptops donated to the charity were also stolen.
"To have an incident like this occur against a charity that works hard to support families during the holiday season is deplorable," Insp. Gurmakh Parmar said in a statement.
"I encourage anyone with information about this incident to contact police and help ensure we can support those that support the vulnerable in our community."
The Surrey Christmas Bureau office is located at 10240 City Parkway, near 102 Avenue, and police said they were alerted to the theft by an alarm that activated at around 6:20 a.m.
The back door had been pried open, despite being barred and locked form the inside. The thieves were gone when police arrived about five minutes after the alarm sounded.
“I immediately broke into tears,” said volunteer Angela Neufeld. “I was thinking of the thousands of hours that people put in here volunteering and the good we’re doing in the community, and to be violated like that didn’t feel well at all.”
“We have, probably, 325 teenagers to come through in the next short time and we’re hoping that we’ll be able to make a miracle happen within the premises here,” Neufeld said.
The Christmas Bureau says it isn’t too late to recover from this. They’re asking for new donations to make up for the theft.
“It would really help if the public were able to come down, bring us gift cards, or donate through our website,” said Werring. “This is a very hard hit for us today, so we are hoping that the Grinch that stole Christmas is going to be replaced by Clarence the angel and it’ll be a wonderful life by the end of today."
The RCMP is asking anyone with information on what happened to call the Surrey detachment at 604-599-0502, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 if they wish to remain anonymous.
With files from CTV News Vancouver's Andrew Weichel