Thieves stole transit tickets destined for shredder

Men charged with pilfering FareSavers from their workplace

A large number of prepaid FareSaver transit tickets when missing in the spring of 2009.

Two men face charges of stealing and trying to sell a huge number of TransLink FareSaver tickets that were slated to be shredded.

Patrick Robert Parry, 46, of Surrey, and James Gordon Hemenway, 40, of Vancouver are alleged to have stolen about 80,000 of the prepaid transit tickets worth $153,000 that had been taken to the shredding firm where they worked, Transit Police said.

They face theft and fraud charges and appear in Vancouver court in December.

FareSavers come in books of 10 tickets and the ones missing were to be destroyed in the spring of 2010 because TransLink had just raised transit fares.

“They were selling them on the streets,” said Transit Police Insp. Brian MacDonald, the force’s acting deputy chief of operations.

“We’re alleging the two employees of the company stole the FareSavers before they went into the shredder.”

He estimated the two accused men stole “a couple of pallets” of FareSavers.

Neither he nor TransLink would say how many tickets had originally been sent for shredding or whether a larger number may have gone missing.

TransLink spokesman Ken Hardie said the transportation authority will reconsider how it shreds tickets and other sensitive material.

Some other agencies bring in a shredder to work on site rather than sending material out, he said.

“It’s one of the things our risk management people will be looking at,” Hardie said. “If they are not satisfied that the current process is adequate, they’ll work up options.”

MacDonald said possession or dealing stolen FareSavers is an offence and passengers should only buy tickets from licensed dealers.

Urban Impact Recycling founder and CEO Nicole Stefenelli said the two accused men were warehouse equipment operators at Urban’s Richmond plant, adding they are no longer with the firm.

“This was a shock to us all,” she said. “Employee theft is a serious issue. In this case, it has a profound impact on myself and the company.”