Calgary man charged in string of poppy box thefts

A Calgary man now faces charges in connection with three poppy box thefts around the city.

Other thefts still under investigation

About 15 donation boxes have been stolen around the city, according to Calgary Poppy Fund organizers. (CBC)

A Calgary man now faces charges in connection with three poppy box thefts around the city.

Officials say the man is known to police.

Police say nine cases have been reported so far this year — although the Calgary Poppy Fund says the number of boxes taken is much higher.

Staff Sgt. Craig Skelton says the boxes are targeted because they are easy to take. 

"Certainly the three cases we laid charges in, the offender distracted the clerks in the stores to draw their attention away from the boxes and then had an opportunity to remove them when no one was looking," he said.

But Skelton is not sure why someone would commit such a crime. 

"It's difficult to say, it's unfortunate with all the services that are available to people if they find themselves in a position where they are down on their luck," he said. 

"There are lots of avenues that they can explore in Calgary. It's really unfortunate [they are] taking money used for programs for our veterans."

The Poppy Fund uses the sale of poppies every year to support veterans, their spouses and their dependants.

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