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Second poppy donation box stolen in this B.C. city

(via Contributed)

Another poppy donation box has been stolen in Coquitlam.

Laurie Chapman, Legion #263's poppy fund chair, told The Tri-City News on Wednesday that the latest theft occurred at the Coquitlam Public Library City Centre branch Tuesday night. She said anywhere from $100 to $200 could have been in the container when it was taken.

"The money is for the veterans that fought for us to have what we have today," she said Wednesday afternoon. "I find it quite disgusting that someone would take that money."

Donations collected go toward assisting veterans and their families, Chapman added. And while the Coquitlam RCMP has been notified, she is not holding out much hope that the legion will be able to get the money back.

This is not the first donation box to be stolen in the Tri-Cities this year.

Last Friday, several people walked off with a poppy container at the Tim Hortons in Austin Heights at around 4:16 a.m.

At first, employees at the coffee shop were aware of the theft, but did not report it to police, with the legion only finding out on Monday about the incident. The police have since been notified and Chapman said she has been in discussions with Tim Hortons' head office about retrieving the surveillance footage to get a better description of the perpetrators. 

"We are still waiting for Tim Hortons," she said Wednesday.

She added there is not much that can be done to protect the boxes, which are placed at various locations in the lead up to Remembrance Day on Nov. 11.

"Short of a lock and chain, I don't think so," she said. "That would be an unrealistic expectation."

Still, there was some good news for the poppy fund.

After reading reports about the initial theft at Tim Hortons this week, Chapman said a person visited the legion and offered up a sizable donation. 

"He had heard about the thefts and donated $100," she said. "That was very nice."

— Gary McKenna, Tri-City News