Thief 'extremely low' to steal donation boxes

A thief has pilfered 17 Canadian Cancer Society daffodil pin donation boxes from New Westminster stores but he didn't get away with taking an 18th from Bosley's Pet Food Plus in Columbia Square.

The boxes were placed in businesses to raise money and awareness during the society's Daffodil Month campaign. Donors receive a daffodil pin to show support for those living with cancer or who have lost their lives to the disease.

The society said in some cases the boxes were stolen multiple times from the same location by what appears to be the same suspect.

"It is extremely low to do that. It's stupid it's ridiculous. C'mon on. I get ripped off about twice a week, but to rip off a donation box that's just not cool," said Bosley's owner Karima Jivraj. "I knew as soon as I saw him outside, I knew he was up to no good. I stayed around the front to keep an eye on him, but all it took was two seconds of me being distracted."

While she answered a customer's question he grabbed the box as well as an envelope with donations to the Canadian Breast Cancer Network and shoved it under his jacket, said Jivraj. She and a couple of customers chased after him and managed to recover the box which had about $30 to $40 in it. He got away with the envelope which she estimated contained $6.

The society estimated $600 has gone missing in New Westminster.

“It is deeply disheartening to see this number of thefts in one community, especially when the community has been so committed to helping us raise awareness and funds,” said Canadian Cancer Society BC and Yukon vice-president of marketing Ron Kuehl. “These funds are intended to support people on a cancer journey and we hope the Lower Mainland, including New Westminster residents, will help us to fight back and rebuild what we have lost.”

While the society said 17 boxes are missing, New Westminster police said there have been three cases that have been reported. The suspect is described as a First Nations man about 50 years old. He is five-foot-eight with a heavy build, long black hair in a mullet or pony tail. He escaped with a bicycle.

Anyone with information about the thefts or suspect is asked to contact Const. Nis Schmidt at 604-525-5411 or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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