Sapperton thrift store hit by thieves

Thieves who recently broke in to a local thrift store may have stolen from the very place they ended up going for help.

The Royal Columbian Hospital Auxiliary operates the New to You Thrift Store in Sapperton, where it raises money for equipment at Royal Columbian Hospital. In mid-December, thieves broke into the shop, stealing $1,000 to $1,500 worth of jewelry, including several watches, as well as some rings and bracelets.

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“They stole all our good jewelry,” said Susan Pearson, one of the store’s managers. “That is what we are making money on this year.”

After someone smashed the window on the store’s door on the evening of Saturday, Dec. 15, store volunteers taped cardboard over it as a temporary fix. The next morning they discovered that someone had made a bigger hole in the glass door, got into the store through the broken window and stole the jewelry.

“They didn’t leave any blood,” Pearson said. “It was reported at the hospital that two guys were in there all cut up, bragging about breaking a window.”

If the thieves went to Royal Columbian Hospital for medical treatment, Pearson said it’s ironic that they sought assistance from the very place the thrift store aims to help.

The recent theft isn’t the first time the store has been hit by thieves.

After someone walked into the thrift store’s office in the summer and stole a bin of jewelry that was being readied for sale, volunteers started locking the office door. In response to the latest theft, the shop has made a few more changes to deter thieves.

“This was a big blow to our volunteers,” Pearson said of the recent theft. “I had to talk to them and say, ‘We can’t look back. We have to look forward.’ We didn’t pay for the items so it’s not really out of our pocket that way, but it is our sales. People, if they see a good watch, then they come back and look for other things. Right now, of course, we don’t have any good watches. They all went. They (thieves) have no comprehension that this money is going directly to the hospital.”

The New to You Thrift Store welcomes donations, including jewelry, as well as volunteers, especially cashiers. It also appreciates the efforts of its Sapperton neighbours to keep an eye out for suspicious activity around the shop.

Located at 416 East Columbia St., New to You is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

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