© Ashley Thompson
New Boundaries worker Chris Fry sifts through what’s left of donations dropped off during the facility’s after hours over the Natal Day long weekend.
Theft is becoming a regular hurdle for the folks at New Boundaries to contend with.
And they’re sick of it.
The mini barn used as an after hours drop-off bin on the Centennial Drive property is looted nearly every weekend.
“We are considering going back to prosecuting these people to make the message loud and clear,” said operations manager Melanie Singleton.
New Boundaries sells the gently used donations in its in-house thrift store Amigos. The revenue from Amigos helps offset the operational costs of running New Boundaries.
Employees of New Boundaries posted video surveillance footage of thefts that occurred Aug. 4 and June 15 on the organization’s Facebook page Aug. 5. The videos reached 15,000 people within less than a day via social media, and New Boundaries was provided with names of suspects to forward to the RCMP for further investigation.
Some of the thieves caught on video surveillance made multiple trips to the donation bin in a single weekend to load up on donated good that were never meant for them.
“It’s really important that they understand who it is that they’re taking from,”said Singleton.
They’re stealing from New Boundaries’ 32 clients, adults with diverse abilities who turn to the non-profit vocational facility for support.
New Boundaries is partially funded with government grants, but the facility must also generate a large portion of its own revenue to remain viable.
“When people are taking those donations, then we are losing revenue and we’re not as able to support ourselves,” said Singleton.
New Boundaries employees have started monitoring live camera feeds from home in the off hours in an effort to reduce the impact of the thefts. Employees will often go in to work on their own time and place larger donations in the locked building.
Singleton said the regular thefts are especially discouraging considering the fact that New Boundaries is often one of the first organizations to lend a hand if someone in need asks for help.
“People don’t need to take it. They simply need to ask if they’re in need and we would gladly help anyone out that we could.”