One arrest has been made in connection with a theft of a Royal Canadian Legion poppy donation tin from a Vernon business.
However, Vernon RCMP are looking for a suspect or suspects in connection with two other similar incidents.
A poppy donation box was stolen from Bosley’s by Pet Valu in The Shops at Polson Park Mall on Nov. 2. A man was caught on surveillance camera stealing the box which contained poppies and a donation tin.
A suspect was arrested Friday.
“We primarily used the surveillance video to help identify the suspect,” said Vernon RCMP Const. Jocelyn Noseworthy. “He is known to us.”
Matthew Scott Stadel, 29, is facing three counts of theft. One is in relation to the incident at Bosley’s. The other two are alleged to involve thefts of a tip jar from the downtown liquor store and merchandise from a Vernon drug store.
He is also charged with failure to comply with a probation order.
Stadel was to appear in Vernon Provincial Court Monday to face the charges.
RCMP, meanwhile, continue to follow up on two other thefts of poppy donation boxes in Vernon.
On Nov. 4, shortly before 10:45 p.m., a man stole the poppy donation box from Tim Hortons on Highway 6.
The box was later found and returned, but the money can was missing.
Then, on Friday, Nov. 6, the poppy donation tin was stolen from TD/Canada Trust on 32nd Street between noon and 2 p.m.
RCMP are following up on both thefts.
“It’s despicable, to be honest,” said Noseworthy when asked about stealing from an organization such as the Royal Canadian Legion where the poppy fund is one of the organization’s main fundraisers.
“The Royal Canadian Legion is a non-profit organization. The donations from the annual poppy drive are used in numerous ways in our community. They fund programs for everyone from students to veterans.
“The poppy campaign is a way to remember and honour our veterans and show our support for those currently serving our communities and our country.”
Anybody with any information on the thefts is asked to call the Vernon RCMP at 250-545-7171 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.