A Nanaimo non-profit is in shock after a brazen theft. Thieves targeted Nanaimo Foodshare on Aug. 18, ripping off expensive solar panels from the roof that had been cutting power costs for agencies that help feed Nanaimo’s less fortunate. Skye Ryan reports.
For years, Kara Anderson has visited Nanaimo’s Foodshare Building for cooking skills and support to keep living independently in her own apartment.
“It’s a second home,” said Anderson. “Its a place to come out, belong.”
The non-profit group’s mission is helping Nanaimo’s vulnerable through programs and get healthy food to all, but thieves have just taken a big cut into their ability to do that.
“I was stunned when I heard,” said Nanaimo Foodshare volunteer Paul Manly.” I was really quite upset and angry about it quite honestly. It’s a really brazen theft.
On Friday, Aug. 18, shortly after 9 p.m., thieves targeted the non-profit society on Nanaimo’s Pine Street, stealing expensive solar panels that were mounted on the building’s roof.
“It’s such a great community agency,” said Eve Reinarz, whose group Supportive Apartment Living operates out of the building. “For someone to do that it’s incomprehensible.”
The panels stolen were on the roof facing busy Pine Street, those on the back of the building were untouched. RCMP say it would have taken thieves some serious time, muscle and knowledge of how to steal the solar panels.
Panels that were the result of a huge fundraising and volunteer effort to cut the electricity costs of the society’s old building.
“We’re quite surprised,” said Const. Gary O’Brien of Nanaimo RCMP. “Somebody must have seen something it is a busy area and that would take a lot of work. Probably a lot of noise would be generated by removing those panels as well.”
Replacing the panels is expected to cost the society about $4,000 on top of the extra electricity bills the solar panels were saving them.
So Foodshare is appealing for the community to help get them back. Anyone with information is asked to contact Nanaimo RCMP.