Theft of turkeys destined for needy families dampens holiday spirit

NANAIMO – Frozen turkeys for Christmas hampers stolen from Eagles hall freezer.

Turkey is temporarily off the menu for Christmas after a break-in at the Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie 15 hall on the weekend.

The theft happened sometime Sunday night after the Eagles hall, located on Fraser Street in downtown Nanaimo, closed. Culprits broke into a shed behind the hall containing a freezer the meat was stored in and pilfered four frozen turkeys and a pork loin roast. Total value of the meat is about $140.

“We had raised a bunch of money and we bought, for three families, all the presents and gift certificates for food and then we bought them each a turkey,” said Sandra Cass, Aerie 15 conductor.

The freezer is kept in the shed because of lack of space in the hall. Police investigated and found the crow bar used to pry the shed open, but there is little hope of recovering the turkeys and roast.

Sgt. Sheryl Armstrong, Nanaimo RCMP spokeswoman said it’s hard to track stolen meat unless an eyewitness comes forward or someone confesses to the crime.

A steel door has already been donated to help make the shed more secure. Eagles members will contribute more cash and hopefully drum up donations to replace the turkeys.