Poppy box thief unmoved by clerk's Remembrance Day plea: 'This is for our soldiers'

A gas station attendant begs a robber not to steal poppy donations on Remembrance Day — but in vain as the number of thefts of collection boxes climbs to 24.

Calgary gas station attendant pleads with woman as donation box thefts climb to 24

Calgary gas station latest to be struck by poppy box theft

7 years ago
Duration 1:02
Anjum Anis, who works at a Shell station in Calgary, says the poppy donation box was stolen by a woman who seemed like "a professional."

A gas station attendant begged a robber not to steal poppy donations on Remembrance Day — but it was in vain as the number of thefts of collection boxes in Calgary climbs to 24.

Police say two more boxes were stolen on Nov. 11.

The latest incidents occurred at two gas stations in the 4800 block of Centre Street North. 

Anjum Anis works at a Shell station in Calgary that became one of the latest locations to be struck by a poppy-box thief, on Remembrance Day, no less. (Colleen Underwood/CBC)

Shell employee Anjum Anis says a woman came into the gas station around 9:15 a.m. asking for directions to the downtown Calgary.

When Anis turned around, the woman swapped out a box full of donations for an empty box.

"I told her, 'This is for our soldiers, don't do that. I won't call the police, this is between you and me. Just please give my box back,'" she said.

The suspect is described as a very thin white woman in her 30s, wearing a brown coat.

Acting Sgt. David Fakas says police have surveillance footage of the thefts.

"We're just trying to use all of our intelligence to try to identify these people so we can arrest them. This is pretty low for someone to do," he said.

A group that supports the poppy fund and veterans food banks is outraged at the theft.

"It's disgusting that it's happening," said Dave Howard of the Canadian Legacy Project.

"It's like stealing food off of their plates, stealing from those who gave their freedom," he said.

Surveillance video released

A male and female were caught on surveillance footage in a separate incident from a Shell gas station on 16th Avenue N.W. Monday.

Police are investigating, and describe the poppy thefts as a crime of opportunity and desperation.

Poppy incident under investigation CREDIT: Calgary Sun

7 years ago
Duration 0:17
Calgary police are looking for information surrounding the two people in this surveillance footage from a northwest gas station.


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