The Easter Seals discovered on Monday that one of its trailers was stolen in St. John's, in a robbery that the charity describes as heinous.
'How low do you go? It's absolutely disgusting and it's disappointing that that sort of thing happens in the community.' - Mark Lane
The six by 12 feet white trailer was used to transport wheelchairs for school programs and equipment such as canoes and life-jackets to the Easter Seals camp on Salmonier Line, says chief executive officer Mark Lane.
The ‘Carry On’ trailer had the license plate, TZL 049.
"The biggest use at this time of year is to transport our equipment that we use at our camp at Lavrock," said Lane. "Losing that is a huge impediment to the organization and to the programs and services to the children and youth we serve."
The trailer cost about $6,000 to $7,000. Lane says money was put into changing the trailer so that it could hold more equipment. He think the trailer was stolen between the end of last week and Monday morning.
The Easter Seals is now scrambling to figure out how to get its equipment to its camp next weekend.
"We certainly could probably make do with 10-15 cars and trucks but that trailer made it much more easy and accessible for our staff," said Lane.
Lane believes the thief had planned the robbery because they cut the lock and chain on the trailer. He's hoping to find surveillance camera footage from the local area in order to pinpoint who stole it and when it was stolen.
He's disgusted by the crime.
“How low do you go?” asked Lane. “ I've equated it with stealing poppy cans from the veterans. It's absolutely disgusting and it's disappointing that that sort of thing happens in the community."
The Easter Seals must now fundraise for another trailer given that it is a charitable organization that does not get core funding.
"We have to raise a significant amount of money and now we have to rob from Peter to pay Paul," said Lane. "They've stolen something of significant monetary value."
Lane hopes the guilty party will be caught and be required to spend some time at the Easter Seals as part of their punishment.
"Maybe they can spend a day here, try using a wheelchair and try to see what life is like with a disability."