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Chilliwack couple arrested in connection with theft of poppy fund collection boxes

Chilliwack RCMP have arrested a local man and woman in connection with the theft of a poppy fund collection box from Tim Horton's early Friday morning.

And police said Milton Gabriel, the 40-year-old Chilliwack suspect, "remorsefully" admitted to stealing multiple poppy fund collection boxes in the Chilliwack area.

The 43-year-old female suspect, also of Chilliwack, was released on a promise to appear in court in January, 2013.

RCMP Cpl. Tammy Hollingsworth said the police investigation continues to find out exactly how many collection boxes have been stolen, and how many Gabriel is responsible for stealing.

"The total dollar amount that was stolen will be difficult to determine," she said, "but thankfully Gabriel has held himself accountable for these crimes."

Six poppy fund collection boxes were reported stolen last week over a five-day from several  businesses along Vedder Road.

The annual 11-day poppy fund drive by the Royal Canadian Legion in Chilliwack raises about $20,000 to help local veterans.

Hollingsworth said it's not known at this time if or how many additional charges may be laid.

The suspect couple was arrested outside the Tim Horton's located at 7670 Vedder Road at about 2:40 a.m. after attempting to steal a poppy fund collection box. An alert employee called the RCMP.

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