Sir: The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul is a taxpaying charitable organization mandated to help the poor or disadvantaged members of our communities. Unfortunately, there are persons in our city that feel our store, truck and donation bins are theirs to pillage, steal from, mar and destroy.
Sometime after work on June 7 and before it on June 8, our pick-up and delivery truck parked in our lot at 80 King St. E. was compromised. Taken were items donated to the store, and the supplies to go to Camp Vincent for the beginning of the camping season. Craft items (china tea cups and saucer, teapots, craft materials, fabric, clothing for the dress-up box, linens and more) were stolen. Also, our camp operation system was taken – walkie talkies and base system, camcorders, computer in its packaging, terabyte hard drives and boxes of other merchandise required to efficiently operate the children’s camp for the summer season.
In total, this was a loss of over $5,000. If you are knowingly purchasing from these perpetrators, you are complicit.
These thefts not only compromise the availability of assistance for our own community members, but now are affecting children from all over southern Ontario as our Camp Vincent services children from St. Catharine’s/Niagara area, Hamilton, across to Goderich and all areas south of this line.
Although our local police service was called, we were unable to obtain an officer to come on site. An incident number was provided for insurance purposes.
However, this is the third large theft in the last four months. Petty theft of our donation bin and “at door” donations happen daily. Lighting and surveillance has done little to deter the thefts. Even trespassing violations have not stopped the repeated assault on our property.
Neighbours report of nightly occurrences of “grocery cart” and “bicycle trailer” thefts. It is obvious that the threat of police interference is not a deterrence to this behavior.
Shame on the perpetrators for stealing from a society trying to relieve burdens from the vulnerable. And, shame on the Chatham-Kent Police for not protecting the law-abiding persons and businesses in our community.
Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Particular council of Kent Deanery