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Thieves break into Summerland Legion and steal Remembrance Day donations

Thieves broke into the Legion, stole poppy donations, caused extensive damage on Nov. 11
Summerland Legion past president John Dorn stands solemn at the cenotaph after laying a wreath on behalf of the Legion on Remembrance Day. That evening thieves broke into the Legion stealing all the poppy and Remembrance Day donations. (Monique Tamminga Western News)

Thieves broke into the Summerland Legion on the night of Remembrance Day, stealing all the donations of the day that were meant to go to Veterans.

“I am reluctant to call these evil people ‘sophisticated thieves,’ but they had obviously cased the branch on Remembrance Day in order to disable the security system and quickly get in and out without detection,” past Legion president John Dorn said.

“They brought substantial break-and-enter tools to jimmy the doors and pry open the ATM. One can only hope one of these persons, realizing they have stolen money designated to aid veterans, has a change of heart and does the right thing,” Dorn added.

The crime came after a beautiful Remembrance Day ceremony held at Memorial Park on Friday, which was followed by a well-attended lunch at the Legion, served up by Chef Andy and his wife Lorraine.

Since learning about the break-in, the Legion has heard from numerous people asking how they can donate or help.

“We have had several people reach out to the Legion after what happen today. A couple of them being Chef Andy and his wife. They have offered soup and bun on Sunday, Nov. 13th from 3:30 p.m. by donation to the Legion.”

Summerland residents like Judy Kind and many others are hoping residents come out and pack the Legion.

There was extensive damage to several doors where the thieves gained access. They also broke the security cameras and damaged the ATM and electronic equipment.

The thieves stole $700 from the poppy fund as well as donations from the lunch held following the ceremony. The Legion will also have to pay the $1,000 insurance deductible and they aren’t even sure the insurance will cover the losses.

“Thank you to everyone for reaching out to support your local legion. Our veterans need continued support as well as the community donations the Legion makes each year through donations such as bursaries to our high school students, donations to our food bank, donations to our cadets and other child organizations,” said a post on the Legion’s Facebook.

If you would like to mail in a donation by cheque, you can mail it to:

Summerland Legion Branch 22

PO BOX 370

Summerland BC

V0H 1 Z0

Branch hours are:

Sunday 2 to 7 pm

Monday - closed

Tuesday to Friday 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Saturday 1 to 9 p.m.

If anybody has information about the theft, please contact Summerland RCMP.

PHOTOS: Hundreds gather for Remembrance Day ceremonies in Penticton

Monique Tamminga

About the Author: Monique Tamminga

Monique brings 20 years of award-winning journalism experience to the role of editor at the Penticton Western News. Of those years, 17 were spent working as a senior reporter and acting editor with the Langley Advance Times.
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