Money stolen following SPCA fundraiser on Haida Gwaii

The Haida Gwaii SPCA is appealing for help from the public after someone stole all of the money raised at the Halloween dance.

The Haida Gwaii SPCA is appealing for help from the public after someone stole all of the money raised at the Halloween dance that took place on Nov. 1 at the Queen Charlotte community hall.

The organization posted a statement on Facebook Nov. 2 saying the stolen cash amounts to 20 per cent of the SPCA’s annual fundraising amount. A dozen volunteers had spent the night selling tickets, serving drinks and cleaning up, only to see their efforts come to nothing.

The Queen Charlotte RCMP said the cash box contained several thousand dollars and was stolen from the kitchen area shortly after the dance had ended.

Police searched the area and found the cash box, empty, in the covered Farmers’ Market area near the hall, said Const. Ryder Birtwistle. While a police officer was dealing with the evidence, a red, full-size, lifted, newer Ford truck was observed to come from Bay Street. The officer attempted to stop the truck but it sped off and a short chase ensued.

Const. Birtwistle said it became obvious the truck was not going to stop so police returned to the community hall to finish gathering evidence. The cash box and other evidence has been sent to Prince Rupert Forensic Identification unit for analysis.

Police are investigating the possible involvement of the driver of the red truck and occupants to the theft, as well as any other leads that are found. Const. Birtwistle said it is possible the truck being on the scene was a poorly timed coincidence and, if so, RCMP are asking the driver and occupants to contact police to explain themselves. The truck has been located and impounded under the Motor Vehicle Act.

Police need the public’s assistance to help resolve this significant theft and case of erratic driving.

If you wish to report anonymously, that can be done through Crime Stoppers or by calling the Queen Charlotte RCMP and telling police you wish to remain anonymous, Const. Birtwistle said. This allows an officer to ask more specific questions and obtain more pertinent information in a confidential manner.

If you have information about this crime or any other crime in the area please contact Queen Charlotte RCMP at 250-559-4421 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.