String of Poppy Fund thefts plague Royal Canadian Legion

Poppy Fund donation boxes are being stolen all over British Columbia, and the Royal Canadian Legion is taking steps to make the boxes more secure.
B.C. and Yukon Poppy Fund Coordinator Joanne Henderson says every year, donation boxes are stolen. (CBC News )

The money is designated to help veterans, but every year thieves find a way to collect the money for themselves.
Victoria RCMP are looking for an older couple who stole a Poppy Fund donation box in the suburb of View Royal.

The couple lifted the box from a Mac's convenience store at 1 a.m. PT Sunday. The woman is described as Caucasian with light brown or red hair, between 60 and 70 years old, wearing a red jacket. The man is also Caucasian, bald, also 60 to 70 years old and wearing a black jacket.

"Sad" but not unusual

It's the latest reported theft since several boxes were stolen in West Kelowna this week.

Joanne Henderson, Poppy Fund coordinator for B.C. and Yukon, said every year thousands of dollars are lost to thefts across the province.

"It's sad, it's very sad," she said.

There isn't a rise in the number of thefts this year  an estimated $10,000 is stolen every year, said Henderson.

"And obviously those people that are stealing it need it much more than our veterans who are having huge problems returning from places like Afghanistan with many issues," she said.

Every year, the Royal Canadian Legion sells poppies and places donation boxes in businesses across the country. Money raised supports the Ronald MacDonald House and the Canadian Legion.

This is the legion's biggest yearly fundraiser.

With files from the CBC's Bal Brach


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