The West Coast’s Food Bank on the Edge was broken into Sunday morning.
“There was a lot of stuff taken. We figure it was somewhere between $700 and $800 worth of food,” Food Bank volunteer Kaytee Devlin told the Westerly News. “How can you steal from people that are trying to help other people?”
Devlin discovered the theft around 10:30 a.m. Sunday when she was dropping off donations at the Food Bank and noticed some things inside had been moved and items were missing.
When she checked the front door and noticed it was unlocked, she immediately called the Ucluelet RCMP.
She said the front door did not look like it had been forced open in anyway, but the thieves managed to break a new lock that had been installed overt the summer.
She believes there were at least two thieves involved and suggested they were likely inside for some time based on the amount and variety of items stolen.
“They took a lot of stuff. A lot of stuff,” she said, “hygiene products, toothbrushes, pork and beans, canned milk. Everything they could.”
She added the thieves may have still been inside when she arrived at the Food Bank that morning because a box in the backroom was partially packed up and left behind.
“What might have happened was, they heard me drive up and, as I was coming in the back door, they were going out the front door,” she said noting there were no vehicles parked outside when she drove up.
She said the Food Bank installed a new alarm system on Wednesday.
“At least they’ll get an earful if they break in again,” she said.
Const. Jarett Duncan of the Ucluelet RCMP told the Westerly News that police are seeking the public’s assistance in tracking down the thieves and he urges anyone who has seen or heard anything suspicious to report it to the local RCMP detachment at 205-726-7773 or through Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
“It’s quite disheartening. These individuals are taking from people in the community who truly need this service. It’s very sad to hear that someone’s done this because, at the end of the day, this is a non-profit organization and everyone volunteers their time to help the Food Bank and help people who are in need,” Duncan said. “It’s just sad.”
He added the timing is terrible for the Food Bank, which is currently trying to ramp up its efforts to be prepared for Christmas.
“We’re two months from Christmas where the Food Bank is trying to stock up and every year it’s, kind of, a mad dash at the end to make sure people have what they need during the holiday season when it definitely is tight for everyone,” he said.
Anyone wanting to help replenish the Food Bank’s lost items is encouraged to reach out to 250-726-6909 or drop donations off at the Ucluelet Co-op’s donation bin.