Property crime is a common problem in all communities but a recent theft in Chilliwack is particularly galling for a local service club.
More than $4,000 worth of equipment was stolen in the early hours of Oct. 15 from the Rotary Train Shed at Townsend Park operated by the Rotary Club of Chilliwack-Fraser.
The Rotary Train was damaged, the garage-style door was destroyed and a number of items were stolen, including a generator, a barbecue, tools and more. Even stolen were Rotarian blue work shirts and six cases of wine glasses with the Rotary logo on them.
(See below for a full list of stolen items)
“This hurts our club because these items were used to serve our great community,” club president Fieny Van Den Boom said.
The location of the shed is at the back of the gravel parking lot on the west edge of Townsend Park. Behind the shed is a path that leads to a makeshift bridge into a homeless camp on the Kwaw-kwaw-apilt First Nation reserve.
Rotarian Richard Palmer said he and another club member went over the bridge into the camp after it happened. They came upon a man who lives there who said he was actually the one who contacted the security company while the theft was underway, but no one showed up in time.
Palmer said he also saw four of the wine glasses next to a tree in the camp.
Police did find the barbecue and it was returned to the Rotary Club but most of the other items are still missing.
Palmer said the approximately $4,200 worth of stolen items includes the now-returned barbecue, but does not include the damage from what appeared to be a vehicle driven into the roll-up door.
The shed was boarded up this week and a sign on it sends a message to the thieves.
“I hope you are proud of yourselves for stealing from a non-profit group that helps out in our community,” the sign says.
“We now have to take funds that would have helped kids in the community and replace the garage door that is inoperable, and purchase replacement items that were used for fundraising to be able to help out in our community.”
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the stolen items is asked to call 604-830-7097
Full list of items stolen from the Rotary Train Shed on Oct. 15. Note: some items may have been found:
– green generator, Patron by Rentquip
– blue totes with Christmas decorations
– red five-gallon gas can
– approximately six brown cases of Rotary wine glasses with the Wheel on them
– Rotarian at Work blue shirts
– small electric compressor
– cardboard boxes with various party items
– 1,000 plastic tags for lottery draw machine
– various small hand tools