Frozen meat stolen from Bay Roberts food bank
Police are investigating an overnight break-in at a food bank and thrift store in Bay Roberts.
A board representing 12 local church parishes operates The Helping Hand, with revenue from an associated thrift store supporting its food bank. It serves an estimated 120 clients monthly.
We’ve got to replace our back door and our front door, because that’s the way they tried to get in with a crowbar, but they were unsuccessful, and once they were unsuccessful with that, (they) decided to beat out a window.
— Darlene Kearley
It was Thursday morning, Feb. 23 that staff noticed the break- in, which occurred shortly after 3 a.m. according to security camera footage. Turkeys and hams leftover from the Christmas food drive and more frozen food items were stolen. An unknown but relatively small sum of money was also taken.
Helping Hand manager Darlene Kearley told The Compass the turkeys and hams were due to be distributed for Easter.
“It’s not only that too, but it was the damage they left us with,” she said last week. “Right now we’ve got to replace a window, because they smashed a window. We’ve got to replace our back door and our front door, because that’s the way they tried to get in with a crowbar, but they were unsuccessful, and once they were unsuccessful with that, (they) decided to beat out a window.”
Sgt. Brent Hillier told The Compass Wednesday Bay Roberts RCMP retrieved physical evidence from the food bank and has a suspect identified, though no arrests have been made.
Meanwhile, Kearley hopes the release of video footage from the break-in will help catch the culprit.
The black-and-white footage captured by a security camera shows a heavily clothed individual walking up the front steps of The Helping Hand with their head tilted downward.
The person starts to pull a mask over their face before attempting to gain entry with what’s believed to be a crowbar. The video was recorded at 3:12 a.m.
Over the course of almost a dozen years working at The Helping Hand, Kearley can recall at least three break-ins, with the others focused on money rather than food.
“It’s kind of scary, you know.”
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Darlene Kearley manages The Helping Hand food bank and thrift store in Bay Roberts.
A still image taken from security footage captured outside an entrance of The Helping Hand food bank and thrift store Thursday, Feb. 23.