Thief nabs several poppy donation boxes, caught on camera
Joanne Schnurr, CTV Ottawa
Published Tuesday, November 14, 2017 5:23PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, November 14, 2017 7:09PM EST
Some businesses in Westboro are hoping their combined effort can help find a thief who made off with several poppy donation boxes.
It happened on Remembrance Day captured on surveillance tape being shared on social media.
While everyone was busy on Remembrance Day reflecting on the sacrifices our veterans made, one individual was capitalizing on that, pocketing the donations that were intended to help them.
It's clear as day on the surveillance footage: the switch with an empty donation box for the one full of money, now tucked safely in the thief’s jacket.
For Greg Boyle, the operations manager at Great Escape Outfitters on Richmond Road, seeing the footage made him furious at first, then just sad.
“It’s out there, an honor system,” says Boyle, “You never think to check on it because you don't think anyone would steal it. And then you feel sad. Stealing from veterans? It's so blatant and out there, it just doesn’t make any sense to me.”
But this wasn't the only establishment hit on Remembrance Day in Westboro. Pietro's down the road had their collection box stolen, right off their front counter. So did the Shoppers Drug Mart, and about 3 other businesses along this strip.
The poppies were dumped behind Pietro's, in good sight of a surveillance camera.
The Canadian Legion says this kind of thing is happening all across the country. They have no idea really how much they've lost to robbery but they're trying to tally it up.
“It's a very important day, Remembrance Day,” says Rob Barbeau, who is walking by the Legion on Richmond Road, “People that have given up their lives for our freedom, and they stoop that low to do something like that, not in my book.”
Not in Greg Boyle's book either. He and the other businesses that were targeted on Remembrance Day have decided to fight back.
“I've been in contact with other businesses where boxes stolen,” says Boyle, “and we're trying to put together a whole neighborhood donation and at end of month go down and make donation to the local Legion branch.”
The businesses have filed a police report. But they've also posted the photos from their surveillance footage on Facebook and hope to catch this guy as soon as possible.