Jason Adams, shown with his wife Patricia and sons Gabriel and Hayden outside the Leisure Centre, launched a petition asking officials do something about the thefts from pool lockers after their phones and his wallet were stolen. (Jennifer Feinberg/ The Progress)

Jason Adams, shown with his wife Patricia and sons Gabriel and Hayden outside the Leisure Centre, launched a petition asking officials do something about the thefts from pool lockers after their phones and his wallet were stolen. (Jennifer Feinberg/ The Progress)

Petition demands action after Leisure Centre thefts

‘Something has to be done,’ says victim

Theft from lockers at Chilliwack Landing Leisure Centre needs to be addressed now, according to a petition.

Jason Adams started the petition after his wallet and phone, some clothing, and his wife’s phone, were all stolen from the family change room after a visit to the Chilliwack pool last month.

“We reported to the staff immediately and they had nothing to say about it, only to stare at us with ‘shoot, not again’ looks on their faces,” Adams said.

READ MORE: Locker theft left bitter taste

The Leisure Centre is not responsible for lost or stolen items, the victim of theft was told. Three staff were on duty that night but maybe there needs to be a security guard as well to watch the comings and goings, Adams said.

“Apparently theft, especially locker break-ins, is something that happens often at this facility,” Adams said.

His change.org petition had 222 signatures as of Dec. 11, asking Leisure Centre officials to do something to beef up security, secure the lockers and stop the thefts.

“Clearly it’s not just me,” Adams said, adding that several people have come forward with their own stories of being victimized.

Ryan Mulligan, City of Chilliwack’s director of Recreation and Culture, said they are working on solutions.

They’ve been testing out a much stronger type of locker “with a superior locking mechanism” with no theft or vandalism occurring since they put 40 of them into the men’s change room.

“Based on the results, we have asked council to approve replacing all the pool lockers in both pool facilities at the Leisure Centre and Cheam Centre,” Mulligan said, adding that final approval is still pending but the $300,000 required is available in the rec budget.

The lockers are the city’s responsibility as owners of the infrastructure, while Recreation Excellence is the operator of the facility.

Adams said he double-checked to make sure the locker was locked after they put their stuff inside.

“When we came back from swimming we were shocked to find our locker was pried open, our wallets, cellphones and some clothing were stolen,” he said. He didn’t actually see any evidence of a break-in.

Also no one told him there were smaller lockers near the staff counter to keep wallets and phones safe.

Adams said he feels in the wake of the experience that there was some subtle victim-blaming going on, and did not get much help from staff. They wouldn’t even call RCMP for him, even though he just had his phone stolen.

“Something has to be done to change the situation,” Adams said. “To me I feel like the Leisure Centre knows how bad it is, they just ignore it and hope it goes away.”

Bringing the fewest possible belongings to store in the locker is the best suggestion and the best deterrent, Mulligan offered.

“It’s not always possible but it minimizes the opportunities,” he said.

Rec Ex, the facility operator, looked into the number of locker thefts reported since the start of 2019, and there were nine thefts from the pool, with seven of them attributable to being placed in a cubby with no lock and left unsecured. There was no physical evidence of any damage to the locker Adams said the family used.

“Either it wasn’t really broken into, or someone found a way to get in, but if that was the case, there wouldn’t only be one theft,” Mulligan said.

Since the Nov. 29 incident that Adams reported, they’ve been watching that particular locker, and it had been used numerous times but no other thefts were reported.

READ MORE: Woman arrested in Leisure Centre locker thefts


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

Mark Strahl, MP for Chilliwack-Hope, delivered a statement in the hybrid sitting of the House of Commons on March 23, 2021, calling on the Liberal government to present a plan for when COVID-19 restrictions can be safely eased. (Screenshot/ Mark Strahl)
Chilliwack Hope MP Strahl says federal budget doesn’t reflect needs of Canadians

MP says budget illustrates that Liberals don’t have a plan to recover from COVID-19 losses

The spooky scarecrow of the Valley Huskers takes on the logo of the Regina Thunder in a national social media contest produced by Football Canada.
Huskers logo needs your online vote in semi-final round of Football Canada contest

The scarecrow has 2 more foes to vanquish to be named the best amateur football logo in the country

Kosumi Street in the Sardis neighbourhood of Chilliwack was opened to traffic on April 14, 2021. (City of Chilliwack)
New connector road in Sardis opened to traffic

Kosumi Street was named to honour roots of Japanese-Canadian family that settled in Chilliwack

Rene Cortin/Wikimedia commons
Chilliwack Bowls of Hope Society pilot program promotes garden growing

Twenty Chilliwack families are participating in the ‘Garden Box to the Table’ program

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

John Wekking, Merritt Road Report - Facebook
 Coquihalla Road Report
Wildfire sparks off Coquihalla in Merritt

The wildfire is located near the Dollarama off of Highway 5

Mak Parhar speaks at an anti-mask rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. Parhar was arrested on Nov. 2 and charged with allegedly violating the Quarantine Act after returning from a Flat Earth conference held in Geenville, South Carolina on Oct. 24. (Flat Earth Focker/YouTube.com screenshot)
Judge tosses lawsuit of B.C. COVID-denier who broke quarantine after Flat Earth conference

Mak Parhar accused gov, police of trespass, malfeasance, extortion, terrorism, kidnapping and fraud

Ambulance paramedic in full protective gear works outside Lion’s Gate Hospital, March 23, 2020. Hospitals are seeing record numbers of COVID-19 patients more than a year into the pandemic. (The Canadian Press)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate declines, 849 cases Tuesday

Up to 456 people now in hospital, 148 in intensive care

Most Read