Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ottawa says six of its clothing donations bins disappeared from five locations Thursday morning.
Susan Ingram, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ottawa, said their driver alerted the organization to the missing bins while doing his morning pick up rounds.
“It’s a little disheartening, you have someone stealing from a charity at this time of year,” Ingram said.
The boxes were taken from four Catholic schools in Kanata and Manotick, as well as the Royal Canadian Legion branch on Stittsville Main Street. The schools were:
- All Saints Catholic High School.
- Georges Vanier Catholic School.
- St. Jerome School.
- St. Francis Xavier Catholic High School.
The size and weight of the boxes raises questions about whether the theft involved a coordinated group, Ingram said.
“They’re just almost 1,000 pounds each, they’re solid steel. They’d be difficult to move,” she said.
“I would say that you probably need more than one person because when we place them we need we need about three or four volunteers to help.”
She said each bin costs about $1,200 — not to mention the value of donations that had been left inside since the last pick up on Tuesday.
Bins stolen in Outaouais
Big Brothers Big Sisters Outaouais had five of their bins stolen just over a month ago and St. Vincent de Paul in Gatineau had two bins taken shortly after.
“It does bring to mind is, is this something coordinated? Is this something that’s the same offenders? I don’t know, maybe it is,” Ingram said.
Yvonne Dubé, general director of the Outaouais chapter, said the thefts have left her feeling “sick to my stomach.” Her organization has just raised the money to replace the stolen bins.
“I’m worried they’re going to disappear again because if the bins in Ottawa are gone that means whoever is doing this is still around,” she said. “Whether they’re in Ottawa or Gatineau, we’re so close.”
Dubé said the average bin can collect between $3,000 and $5,000 worth of clothing donations per month.
Dubé said her organization is placing bins more strategically and will be buying GPS units so the bins can be tracked if they’re stolen.
Still accepting donations
Back in Ottawa, Ingram said she has filed police reports and is collecting surveillance video to help the police investigation. She’s asking…