A thief in Nanaimo went to extreme lengths to allegedly steal a pair of hightops and a third shoe.
The suspect was seen on video spending two hours trying to inch them through a mailbox slot.
Police say it was early Friday morning when a thief spotted the shoes he wanted and the whole incident was captured on surveillance video.
The theft happened between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. on May 15 from the business located at 60 Needham Street.
The shoes were on a table inside locked doors at the Nanaimo Unique Kids Organization (NUKO).
The thief was seen leaving and soon came back with an improvised tool to do the job.
“To work so hard for three shoes,” said Samantha Hayes, Nanaimo Unique Kids Organization’s manager
“It just blows my mind. I don’t have words for it really.”
Through a smoke break and having to duck to not be seen by passing cars, the thief continued in the video.
He reached through the mail slot and knocked the shoes off the table before dragging them up to the mail slot.
But he may not have also realized he was stealing from the Nanaimo Unique Kids Organization, supports children with neurological differences, like autism, Down Syndrome or Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.
“Both of those boys have autism so it’s just not a shoe to them. This is a comfort item. They have high sensory needs,” said Hayes about the owners of the shoes.
“Lots of parents come in an buy the same shoe in multiple sizes so the child can grow with those shoes because it is very difficult to find shoes that fit properly that don’t bother them.”
Eventually after more than two hours, with daylight coming and traffic starting to pick up, the suspect was seen in the video wiping potential fingerprints off.
“Nike hightops and one running shoe and that’s what he left with,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, media relations officer for Nanaimo RCMP.
“So for his efforts for two hours, this is what he leaves with. Totally unacceptable and it never surprises us the length people will go to steal from others.”
“Super frustrating like it almost brings you to tears,” said Hayes. “Just cause we know the kids so intimately and we work so closely with them.”
The suspect was wearing red shoes, a denim jacket and black hoodie. Police believe people will recognize him.
If you have any information on who the suspect is, Nanaimo RCMP are asking you to please contact the non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.