Poppy bin bandits arrested in Langley

A man and woman were both taken into custody after a video of donation box thefts were released

A pair of suspected poppy bandits are in custody after a video of the thieves stealing donation trays from a Langley coffee shop was shared with media yesterday.

“Langley’s had a number of thefts of poppy boxes. I’m not exactly sure of the number,” said Langley RCMP Sgt. Barry Beales.

“But there’s been at least five or six that have been reported to us,” he said, noting the thefts have been scattered throughout the community.

One shop in Murrayville, in particular, was hit at least three times – The Joy of Coffee, in Murrayville Square.

Thanks to video surveillance shared from that shop, Mounties were able to hone in their investigation on two suspects – both individuals who are known to local Mounties. Arrests were subsequently made, Beales said.

“It certainly has worked its magic,” the sergeant said of the video, noting release of the video sparked tips from the public that led to the arrests.

A woman was arrested Friday night, and later released on conditions.

“We can’t keep them very long,” Beales said.

Since then, a man has also been arrested, and as of Saturday afternoon he remained in custody, the pair suspected in as many as half a dozen poppy bin thefts in Langley in as many days.

THEFT SEVERAL YEARS BACK: Langley thrift store poppy donation box stolen

The investigation, he explained, is ongoing.

The poppy bins are typically situated near cash registers, encouraging the public to easily deposit a donation into a slot and take a poppy, and Beales doesn’t know if there’s any easy way to better safeguard against such thefts.

“That’s the way it’s been for generations,” Beales added, fearing that “one bad apple seems to have put a real wrench in things. In this case, we had two bad apples that seem to have done – I’m not sure they’ve done them all, but if I was a betting man I’d say all the ones that we’ve had reported are because of two people.”

He acknowledged the theft of these donation boxes has hit a cord with the community.

“This is something near and dear to the public,” he added, grateful for the public’s help in catching the suspected thieves.

Langley RCMP’s Cpl. Craig van Herk, who issued put a plea for help on Friday, was elated to hear news that arrests had been made.

“I’m super excited if we have someone in custody for it,” van Herk shared Saturday afternoon.

“All of the sudden, I’m in a better mood. I’m not going to lie. Yesterday when I came in and I was going to talk about it, I was already mad,” he said, disappointed that there always seems to be some predator out there victimizing those who are trying to help our community’s most vulnerable.

“When I heard this was happening again, I was so angry,” van Herk elaborated. “It’s gross… You might as well be going out and pushing one of our veterans over and taking it straight from them. It’s one of those things that makes me so…” he paused and growled. “But now [knowing] that we have someone in custody, that’s awesome.”

RECENT RCMP STORY: Langley man, 80, with dementia still missing

_________________________________

Is there more to this story?

roxanne.hooper@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

_________________________________

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rugby practices to return to Lower Mainland fields this fall

B.C. Rugby announced its return to play plan July 7

South Surrey man to bike across Canada

Last minute decision to take Rajiv Dhaliwal on three-month journey

White Rock RCMP reviews street checks for racial bias

Report indicates checks are being conducted bias-free

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Filming applications ‘coming in slowly’ to the City of Surrey

Netflix cancels ‘Sabrina’, but filming manager says new calls coming in to film in Cloverdale

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Fraser Valley loses the Keith Wilson Waver as Ron Hupper passes away

Hupper brought smiles to the faces of hundreds of people traveling Chilliwack’s Keith Wilson Road

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Once-in-a-lifetime comet photographed soaring over Abbotsford

Photographer Randy Small captures Comet NEOWISE in early-morning sky

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

Most Read