Thieves target Chemainus Legion
Chemainus Legion members are still reeling from a recent burglary that damaged their building, and saw their safe cracked and their pull-tab machine stolen Aug. 6.
"It is unfortunate the people involved in this occurrence would target a Legion when members and staff are trying so hard to keep this veterans' club a vital community participant," Chemainus Legion brass says in a statement after the 11:36 p.m. theft.
"This Legion has donated thousands of dollars, and hundreds of volunteer hours, assisting seniors, youth groups and other community groups, through our meat draws, bingo, and poppy campaigns. Ultimately, the cost is to the community this Legion supports."
The RCMP is investigating the heist — discovered Aug. 7 — during which several of the Legion's doors were pried, and its security system disabled, allowing the thefts that included meat from the kitchen.
"They also broke into the Keno machine, and even stole pennies for the kids' Christmas fund," said Legion Branch 191 spokesman Mike Beggs.
RCMP Cpl. Jon Stuart said the ransacking saw the pull-tab lotto machine ripped from the wall and taken, and cash stolen from the safe.
Beggs declined to say how much money was lifted from the safe.
Mounties are examining the scene's fingerprints and video surveillance.
"Due to the extent of damage, it is apparent whoever was responsible was inside the business for some time," Stuart noted.
"It's also likely a vehicle was used to move the stolen property."
Exact value of the damage, and the theft overall, were unavailable but Beggs pegged the claim at "several thousand dollars" as the Legion faces a $1,000 insurance deductible.
Beggs saluted folks at Victoria Hyundai who are raising money to help pay the Legion's costs.
Tips about the theft can be confidentially reported to the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP at 250-748-5522.