Thursday, December 11, 2008

Honor Among Thieves

Christmas Thieves
William Heath Robinson

Thieves broke into the Salvation Army’s warehouse, and took more than 80 boxes of toys worth $25,000. The stolen goods were for needy children this Christmas. Since then, the Salvation Army has received donations from Future Shop, Best Buy, London Drugs, the Vancouver Police and Fire Departments and individual donations, totalling $100,000. Major Brian Venables of the Salvation Army says. "The outpouring of support from the community has been continuous," "There are so many people dropping off toys and that's wonderful to see." Venables added that one of the companies offering to help is a security firm that is planning to beef up security at the Fraser St. facility.

Apparently the Vancouver police were contacted on the weekend by people who have had trouble with the law themselves, but were outraged by the theft from the Sally Ann. "There are certain crimes that just repulse everyone and this is one of those crimes," a police spokesman said.

Honor among thieves.

In addition, the Surrey Food Bank was robbed this week, not once, not twice, but five times in six days. Each month, the Surrey Food Bank feeds 14,000 people, nearly half of them babies and children. The upside is, the Surrey Food Bank is receiving thousands of donations from folks, including people who are volunteering their time to repair windows, doors, locks, beef up security surveillance and put bars on the windows.

What kind of people rob charities at Christmastime? Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to think of a suitable punishment for these creeps. I know what I would do, but I probably can't print it here.

18 comments:

On a limb with Claudia said...

People feel desperate. Desperate people will do almost anything - they would never ever do in other circumstances. Even steal Christmas.

It's sad for everyone involved.

I'm delighted it's worked out well for the Salvation Army.

Russell said...

When I actively worked as a lawyer I remember what judges always told me about criminal sentences. They told me that to the outsiders the punishment was never harsh enough.

Yet, to the families and friends of the convicted, the punishment was always too much. If the defendant is your husband or wife or child, well, the 3 years in prison is WAAAAY too much!

But to the victim of the crime and to the rest of the world, the 3 year sentence is not nearly severe enough!

I agree with Out On a Limb with Claudia that people get desperate and do desperate things. No one in their right mind would steal from a charity - so it means that people who are NOT in their right mind do such things.

I am not a flaming liberal but I would say that if a person is a drug addict or has mental issues, the person needs help more than a prison cell...

Regardless, it is just sad such things happen.

Leslie: said...

Yes, it's been awful here lately with desperate folks doing desperate things now. As I passed a Salvation Army worker ringing his bell outside London Drugs yesterday, I stopped and donated a fairly large amount - large to me, small in the whole scheme of things - but hopefully it will help a bit.

Firefly said...

Geez, and they say we have a crime problem.

It is just wrong, wrong, wrong. People like this should be covered in honey and tied to a tree next to an ant hill.

Glennis said...

One can only hope it made someone elses miserable life happier!
What kind of scum would steal from the poor and needys only hope!
Punshment should be to have to visit all the families that would of got the assistance they needed, to see through their eyes however breifly.

XUP said...

Same thing when they robbed the poppy boxes in various shops around here early last month. I guess charities are still easy to steal from because they're not expecting it and aren't prepared/thief proof. These really do seem like desperate acts -- they couldn't have gotten very much - such a random, haphazard act. Either it was, like Russell said addicts or someone with mental issues or it was some idiot kids who have no respect for anything.

willow said...

Sad, too, sad. Makes me count my blessings (instead of sheep)!

Deb said...

Those actions are dispicable. Unfortunetly, desperate people do desperate things. My only wish is that they ask forgiveness to their God.

Dr.John said...

Desperate people do desperate things. I remember once near Christmas we had put together gifts for every person in the local nursing home. When I came in in the morning the gifts had been ripped open and someone took what he wanted.
We found the crook sleeping in our closet. He was passing through town and had no place to stay and nothing to eat. The sad thing is if he had come to me we would have put him up at a motel and fed him. As it was we helped him to go on his way. Then got in a crew and redid the gifts.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

I applaud Dr. John's response. In a way, nothing can condemn someone as much as the forgiveness and love of the victims. In the same way, nothing has more potential to change someone either. Perhaps the best punishment for these desperados is to have to explain their actions to the kids and to ask for forgiveness and to receive that forgiveness.

Jo said...

Hello, everyone. Gosh what a nice bunch of kind, understanding people you are! You are far kinder and more understanding than I am. The thieves that broke into the Salvation Army and stole $100s of electronic toys meant for needy kids were an organized gang of thieves, all living together in a big house of Fraser Street. Their purpose in stealing the items was to sell them, for profit. However, the people for whom the food and toys were originally meant were desperately needy people, who could not afford to give their children a Christmas. I have discovered that I am not the sort of person who feels bad for the perpetrator, I am the sort of person who feels bad for the victims. I too was robbed one year (twice) just before Christmas. First the thieves stole the cash I had put aside for Christmas, and then they stole all my gold jewelry that had been passed down to me by my mother and grandmother - all their keepsakes, gold locket, gold ring, bracelets - everything. My heart breaks when I think I cannot pass these things down to my daughter and granddaughter. I felt violated, but the thieves did not steal my last dime and my last hope.

When people are depending on Food Banks and the Salvation Army to provide their Christmas for them, they are already the lowest of the low, "the poorest of the poor", as Mother Teresa used to call them. People who steal from such folks as this are not desperate, they are despicable.

I am the coordinator of the Food Bank Christmas drive for our organization, and I know how much thought and care and love everyone puts into their donations, especially at Christmastime.

I rather like Firefly's idea of covering the thieves in honey and tying them to a tree next to an ant hill. And then when the ants have had a field day with them, I would like to be first in line to rub them all over with stinging nettle.

Okay, okay, I now relinquish my soap box. *heh*

meggie said...

We have had similar theivery over here in OZ. Hampers for needy were stolen from the Salvation Army & I just cannot believe those crims could stoop so low. We are hoping there will be an outpouring of generosity similar to yours.

KathyB. said...

This is a sad AND encouraging post. You're right about the thief / thieves. They are pretty low, and what is scary is that someone would have so little conscience as to steal from the needy. I only hope they stole out of desperate need instead of being just plain callous. There is hope for the former.

Smalltown RN said...

that was such a terrible thing those folks did....but like Claudia said...in desperate times people do desparate things....it was all very sad....but I am glad there was a happy ending in to this story.....well sort of happy.....

Donnetta Lee said...

Yes, sad that these things happen at anytime, but seems particularly heinous during the "season." I like the comment that Russell left. Gives us pause. I suppose, even when we support and administer just punishment, we have to consider the quality of forgiveness. Maybe even a little selfishly. For our own souls if not for theirs. That being said, I say: Just punishment. D

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ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Hate to say it, these things are sometimes done from the inside, by lay workers.
No fault of the Army.

There are grinches everywhere.
..........

Whoops, a Grinch just jammed my email.

I think its spam from a U.S. Air Force site...I used to be in the Canadian Air Force.
Thanks, brothers.

I am e-mailless in Gaza.

Full moon will do it every time.

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