Boys & Girls Club in Nanaimo frustrated by continued thefts

Boys & Girls Club in Nanaimo frustrated by continued thefts

WATCH: RCMP say the Boys & Girls Club of Central Vancouver Island in Nanaimo has been hit by thieves harder than any other non-profit in the city. The theft of gasoline from vehicles and attempted break-and-enters has been an ongoing problem but it’s been on the increase. Kendall Hanson reports.

Running vans and buses is crucial for the Boys & Girls Club of Central Vancouver Island in Nanaimo, as it helps the organization provide care for kids both before and after school. recently they’ve also been the target of thieves looking to steal gasoline.

However recently,  the non-profit has also been the target of thieves looking to steal gasoline.

“It’s exhausting,” said Ian Kalina, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club on Central Vancouver Island. “[It’s] demoralizing and it’s not just me it’s our staff feeling the same way.”

The non-profit group hasn’t just been hit by the costs of replacing the stolen gas.

They’ve also paid to put up a chain link fence with barbed wire to keep thieves out. It was cut numerous times.

They also installed security cameras. Those were also stolen.

According to the non-profit group, locking gas caps on their vehicles have also been broken off.

“It’s thousands of dollars. We’ve had vandalism of our vehicles as well and they’ve cut through the chain link fencing. They’ve kicked through the wooden boards we’ve had in place. Whatever have you they’ve shown they’ll go the extra mile,” said Kalina.

“Very frustrating because it’s ongoing,” said employee Ali Douglas. “[It’s} at least three times a week so it’s getting ridiculous.”

Mounties say their location on 5th street is an issue since it’s in a high crime area close to railroad tracks and no one can see the property.

“We’ve suggested a number of security measures,” said Const. Gary O’Brien from Nanaimo RCMP. “One would be roving security but it costs money.”

Overall, police say they’ve had 91 reports or theft, mischief or attempted break-ins at the site over the past decade, but 10 of those were just in the last three weeks.

Then there was another attempt to steal gas Tuesday night.

“We know there are only a few people committing these crimes and we’re hoping the public can assist us so we can go ahead with these investigations,” said O’Brien.

The Boys & Girls Club says the thieves are stealing more than just gasoline as they’re forcing them to use the money on security that is needed elsewhere.

For now, they’ve stopped filling the gas tanks in their vehicles and are looking at other ways to try to put an end to a troubling crime spree.

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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