Nelson pastor Jim Reimer is heartbroken that thieves have stolen approximately 500 meals’ worth of cash from SHARE Nelson. The Lakeside recycled furniture and houseware business is run entirely on donations, with revenue going to Nelson’s soup kitchen Our Daily Bread.
“Somebody broke into the store and stole our safe,” Reimer told the Star.
Though it hasn’t been determined how the thieves got in, and there were no signs of forcible entry, Reimer believes the crime occurred sometime between 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday morning.
There are no suspects and no positive leads. The thieves seem to have left the rest of the store alone, making away only with the safe and its contents.
Inside was the keys to the store’s truck, as well as the spare keys.
“Now we have to change all the locks and get people to make new keys for our delivery truck. That will cost us $1,000, plus the replacement of the safe,” he said.
But he’s most upset about the donation fund that was stolen.
“Staff at the store have been raising money on their own time. Every day we make a night deposit from our sales. The money being collected in the safe they had raised through bottle collection and hot dog sales,” he said.
“They wanted to make the presentation to Our Daily Bread. That money was in there.”
The employees had raised $2,500, which would have translated to “about 500 meals” at Our Daily Bread.
And though they’ve experienced minor thefts before, Reimer said he was shocked at the scale of this one.
“Nothing like this has happened before. We had a change jar taken before. We’re going to make changes on the security system,” he said.
A stepladder was found leaning against the building. It doesn’t belong to SHARE Nelson.
“We’ve got a couple of windows on top. They could have come on Saturday and unlatched the windows from the inside. But there was a good six to eight feet between the window and the stepladder,” he said. “It’s possibly to shimmy up there, but I wouldn’t have done it.”
Reimer asks anyone with knowledge of the crime to contact police.
“It would be nice if someone knew something if that they could come forward. We’re diligent with people’s resources. We’re not negligent. We’re trying to do everything possible, and we’ll take further steps now to ensure safety.”
The Nelson Police Department is investigating. Cst. Sebastian Fazzino said the RCMP forensic identification unit attended the scene and evidence was taken.
Fazzino said the crime could have been the work of a single culprit.
“We don’t know that yet. We’ll know better after we get the forensic results,” he said.
The Nelson Police Department are requesting that anyone who may have seen anything suspicious in the area between Saturday night and Sunday morning to call them at 250-354-3919.
— With files from Greg Nesteroff