Thieves targeting chairs, BBQ and even goldfish from Daffodil Place
The Canadian Cancer Society says it is dumbfounded that people have stolen items from a St. John's facility that cancer patients use when they come to town for treatment.
Daffodil Place has had a series of incidents that involved a barbecue and lounge chairs, and even fish in an outdoor pond.
In one case, a person on a bicycle stole — one at a time — lounge chairs that were placed outside Daffodil Place, even though one of the guests confronted him about it mid-theft.
"It was just a reaction of shock — they couldn't believe that someone would be bold enough to do this," said Al Pelley, vice-president of philanthropy for the Canadian Cancer Society's provincial division.
"[The thief] gave that person a few choice words, and he went off with the chairs."
Earlier, someone stole the lid of the barbecue at the centre — and would have stolen the other parts if they had not been chained down.
Later, a group of young people came to steal goldfish from the centre's Healing Pond, an outdoor area that offers a tranquil corner where cancer patients can relax.
"They even showed up with plastic bags," said Pelley, adding that successive attempts were all thwarted at the scene.
Pelley said the thefts have been disturbing.
"This facility is for cancer patients — it's really unacceptable in our society today to see that kind of thing happening at a cancer facility," he said.
A silver lining has emerged, though, he said. After officials placed calls to scrap metal dealers when the barbecue lid was stolen, a person heard about the centre's plight and stepped forward to donate a new barbecue.
"There's always some good that comes from some bad," Pelley said.
With files from Anthony Germain