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

Mission man who nearly died from COVID-19 at Abbotsford hospital reflects on one-month battle

Robert Billyard was in an induced coma to ensure his body would not fight the ventilator to breathe

Lavender hand sanitizer sale raises cash for Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation

Golf course and lavender farm partner up to support health care in the Fraser Valley

UBC soccer star Victory Shumbusho offers one-on-one training for Chilliwack players

The Chilliwack FC grad believes players need more training to reach higher levels of soccer

Wings and Wheels fundraiser ready to roll in Abbotsford this weekend

Unique collection of cars invading Tradex for drive-thru experiences on Saturday and Sunday

Vedder River gets reprieve from gravel removal this summer

Applications withdrawn by river management committee and process concluded for 2020

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Watchdog clears Okanagan RCMP in death of man after arrest over alleged stolen pizzas

The man died in hospital after having difficulty breathing and broken ribs

35,000 doses of fentanyl part of huge Maple Ridge bust

Largest seizure in RCMP detachment’s history included submachine gun, body armour

Have you seen Berleen? B.C. pig destined for sanctuary goes missing

Berleen was less than two weeks from travelling to Manitoba when she vanished

Health Canada says several kids hospitalized after eating edible pot products

People warned not to store cannabis products where children can find them

‘It’s not just about me’: McKenna cites need to protect politicians from threats

Police investigation was launched after someone yelled obscenities at a member of McKenna’s staff

Michigan plans dedicated road lanes for autonomous vehicles

First study of its kind in the U.S. to figure out whether existing lanes or shoulders could be used

Large missing python found ssssafe in Victoria after being on the lam for weeks

The snake was located more than six kilometres from where it went missing

B.C. announces multi-year plan to double treatment beds for youth with addiction

This will bring the total number of new beds specific to those 12 to 24 years old to 247 province-wide

Most Read