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Multiple gas thefts leave Calgary charity appealing for public’s help

The non-profit Women In Need Society says fuel is being stolen from their vehicles when they're parked outside overnight. The theft is having a detrimental effect on the charity's operations

May 15, 2018  by The Canadian Press

CALGARY—A Calgary-based charity that donates needed items to impoverished women and their families says thieves are draining their delivery trucks of expensive gas at a time of rising costs and increased demand for its services.

The non-profit Women In Need Society says fuel is being stolen from their vehicles when they’re parked outside overnight.

Executive director Karen Ramchuk says two weeks ago, thieves cut gas lines and drained the tanks for three straight nights.

Surveillance footage shows the thefts taking place in a dimly lit parking lot at a time when the average price of fuel in Calgary is around $1.27 a litre.

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Ramchuk says the society uses about 38,000 litres each year to collect and deliver clothes and household items, and they will have to find another $15,000 to make up for the difference in fuel prices this year.

The RCMP says it has not seen a spike in gas thefts but it’s recommending increased vigilance, such as parking in a garage, driveway or well-lit area.

“Obviously, it (gas) is considered a valuable product right now so there is a little bit of a motive to steal the fuel,” said Const. Dan Martin, an RCMP spokesman. “We have seen fuel thefts via siphoning and we’ve also seen some via people drilling holes into gas tanks.”

The society is appealing to the public to make monetary donations or help it in other ways.

“Any costs we have to the organization take away from helping Calgarians directly,” said Ramchuk. “I am hoping that someone will come forward with a secure, safe, enclosed space where WINS can park their trucks overnight.” (CTV Calgary)


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