UPDATE: Police have released images of a man suspected of stealing poppy donations from numerous businesses in Nanaimo.
According to the Nanaimo RCMP, poppy donation boxes were stolen from multiple businesses located in the Woodgrove Centre area earlier this month.
PREVIOUSLY POSTED: Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP media spokesman, said thefts occurred at Tim Hortons, McDonald’s, Delicado’s and Pomme Natural Market, among other businesses in the area.
“We are going to look at this further; this is not acceptable…” he said. “It’s not the money, it’s what it represents.”
O’Brien said police don’t have a suspect, witnesses or any surveillance footage and are asking anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers. He said police are just beginning to work on the file and believe there is video footage available.
“Tim Hortons … should have video surveillance, McDonald’s should have video surveillance,” he said.
While police don’t have any suspects at the moment, O’Brien said he believes the crimes were likely committed by the same person or persons.
O’Brien said businesses with poppy boxes need to be vigilant and are responsible for ensuring they’re not stolen.
“The onus is really on the businesses. If they are going to provide [poppy boxes] they have got to do something,” he said. “They have to ensure that they are locked down, it’s secure, it’s in a public spot, that they keep their eyes on it.”
Poppy donation boxes should be emptied on a routine basis, according to O’Brien.
Anyone who can identify the suspect or who has other information about poppy donation can thefts is asked to contact Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-8477 or submitting a tip online at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com.
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