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Posts Tagged "stolen"

14Oct

Liberal and Conservative campaigns say signs being stolen in South Vancouver

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VANCOUVER – With one week to go before the federal election, both the Liberal and Conservative parties say their campaign signs are going missing in the Vancouver South riding.

Conservative candidate Wai Young’s campaign claims more than 30 per cent of their lawn signs have been stolen in the riding. In an emailed news release, Young called the alleged thefts “hurtful and dangerous.”

“I worry about our democracy,” Young said, while a lawyer for the Young campaign, implied the Liberal campaign or its supporters were responsible, without providing proof.

Young’s campaign has not responded to requests for comment from CTV News to further explain that claim or back it up with evidence.

The riding’s Liberal candidate, Harjit Sajjan, who beat Young in the riding in 2015, strongly denied that any of his supporters are responsible for vandalism or theft of other candidates’ signs.

“I find it very disappointing that Wai Young’s campaign is making baseless accusations on us,” said Sajjan outside his campaign office Monday.

“Especially since some of our signs have been stolen.”

Both campaigns provided CTV News Vancouver with security camera footage they say shows people stealing their signs.

In what appears to be home surveillance video provided by Young’s campaign, a car can be seen pulling up outside a house after dark. The passenger exits the vehicle and removes a small sign from the lawn in front of the home.

The video is timestamped Oct. 9 at 11:55 p.m., but it’s difficult to see the name on the sign. Nothing in the video, which appears to have been edited to remove the moment the person pulls out the sign, indicates who the alleged perpetrator might be or his or her motive.

The video provided by the Sajjan campaign is also recorded after dark and shows someone approach a large sign on foot, struggling for a moment to remove it from its base, before carrying it down the street over their head.

In their news release, Young’s campaign says it has reported sign thefts to Elections Canada.

The Sajjan campaign says it is documenting each incident and plans to formally complain to Elections Canada at a later date, but stopped short of blaming any specific campaign or individuals.

7Oct

‘I just need my legs back’: Stolen wheelchair leaves Vancouverite homebound | CBC News

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Romham Gallacher was getting set to leave home on Saturday morning when it became apparent something was horribly wrong. 

The shed where Gallacher, who uses the pronouns they/them, keeps their motorized wheelchair had been broken into. The wheelchair was gone, along with its charger. 

“I panicked,” Gallacher said over the phone from their home. “I honestly don’t know what I’m what I’m going to do.”

Gallacher quickly created some flyers to share on social media, and filed a police report in hope of recuperating the $4,000 wheelchair as quickly as possible. 

CBC News contacted the Vancouver police about the missing chair but did not get an immediate response.

‘I can’t go do anything’

At home in East Vancouver, near Victoria Drive and Venables Street, Gallacher can get around on a couple of forearm crutches.

But to leave Gallagher needs their motorized wheelchair to do everything from buy groceries to attend choir practice. 

“It completely changes my life,” Gallacher said, crying. “I can’t go do anything.” 

Gallacher says they submitted these photos to Vancouver police when this motorized wheelchair was stolen sometime between Friday night and Saturday morning. (Romham Gallacher)

Gallacher suffers from ankylosing spondylitis, a type of arthritis that affects the spine, and lives off of disability payments. Money to buy the wheelchair about a year ago came from a small inheritance when Gallacher’s parents died.

“I knew that I would be needing it for a long time and I wanted to get something that would really work for my body,” Gallacher said, adding that the lightweight, customized wheelchair fits better than mobility scooters they’ve used in the past. 

Buying a new one isn’t financially feasible. 

No questions asked

Gallacher says friends and community members have been helpful — putting up flyers, searching for the wheelchair and dropping by with groceries. Some have even offered to host a fundraiser. 

But until Gallacher can get their motorized wheelchair back, any sort of outing is put on hold. 

Gallacher says they hope the thief will return the wheelchair, no questions asked. 

“I have no desire to criminalize anyone over this,” they said. “I just need my legs back.”

 

 

1Oct

Ice Dream nightmare: hundreds of frozen vegan treats stolen from truck in Vancouver | CBC News

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Someone somewhere in the Lower Mainland has a truckload of hot ice cream that Naomi Arnaut is desperate to get back.

That’s “hot” as in “stolen,” not “hot” as in “melted,” although it is conceivable the thousands of dollars in frozen treats burgled from Arnaut’s Say Hello Sweets ice cream truck did not survive the crime.

“I suspect that they targeted me and had a plan, because they were very efficient,” said Arnaut. “They got in there fast, got what they wanted and got out.”

The pink and white truck was hit Sunday night while parked on Industrial Avenue in East Vancouver.

Arnaut is asking people to be on the lookout for Ice Dream Sandwiches or Say Hello boxed cubes of ice cream that may appear to be in the wrong hands. (Say Hello Sweets)

Beside making off with over 100 Ice Dream Sandwiches and eight cases of boxed ice cream, thieves also ripped out the truck’s generator leaving behind extensive damage and smashed doors and windows.

On Facebook Arnaut is asking people to be on the lookout for anyone trying to fence treats from Say Hello Sweets.

“If you see Say Hello being sold somewhere that doesn’t quite seem right, please alert us ASAP!”

Arnaut is hoping a neighbouring business has security camera video of the crime. 

Vancouver Police confirm they are investigating.

Owner Naomi Arnaut and dog Babycakes in front of the Say Hello Sweets ice cream truck.

27Jun

Thousands of tabs of addictive opioids stolen from VGH last year

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Over 2,000 doses of opiates were stolen from Vancouver General Hospital by staff last year, according to documents obtained through a freedom of information request.

Over 1,600 tabs and 853 millilitres of hydromorphone were reported stolen from the hospital in two unrelated incidents last January.

“The diversion or misuse of narcotics is rare,” spokesperson Matt Kieltyka explained in an email to Postmedia. “Vancouver Coastal Health takes this issue seriously and has several systems in place to ensure narcotics are dispensed and accounted for as prescribed.”

Kieltyka said staff were involved in both instances, but he was not able to give details on what disciplinary measures were taken.

Such theft, known as “drug diversion,” has been a rising concern in recent years.

Data from Health Canada shows 13,221 doses of opioids were reported stolen from medical facilities in 2018.

Over 3,200 of those were in B.C., which is more than any other province except Ontario, where over 9,700 were taken.

Theft of hydromorphone, which is sometimes sold under the name Dilaudid, jumped sharply in B.C. between 2017 and 2018, according to Health Canada data, with 3,211 units stolen in 2018 compared to just 12 the year before.

Mark Fan, a researcher at North York General Hospital who studies drug diversion, said data on stolen drugs is likely incomplete and that rates of diversion as “probably underestimated.”

“At any point in the medication use process, it’s possible for it to be transferred away from legitimate use,” said Fan.

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He said diversion usually occurs when a staff member manipulates documentation or falsifies prescriptions to over-order medication. They also may physically steal the substances.

In such cases, the theft may not be discovered until an audit is conducted.

Drug diversion made headlines in 2015 after a VGH aide overdosed on stolen opiates. Since then, Vancouver Coastal Health and the Provincial Health Services Authority have adopted measures that Kieltyka said include “dispensing machines, vaults, locked cabinets and security cameras.”

The authority says they have also piloted use of “containers that contain a solution that renders the drugs unusable” at two units within Vancouver Coastal Health and may implement them province-wide.

Const. Steve Addision with the Vancouver Police Department says hydromorphone is fairly common in the city’s illicit drug market, and that a 2-mg pill usually sells for around $10.

But the major driver of diversion is addiction.

Dr. Shimi Kang, an addictions psychiatrist who has worked with hospital staff involved in drug diversion, said workplace stress and access to potent opioids creates a “perfect storm” for substance use.

“We have to recognize that healthcare practitioners are human too,” she said.

She said nurses often face high levels of stress and violence in the workplace and that adequate sleep, time off and support are the best ways to prevent addiction.

“We get so caught up in being the healer that we forget to heal ourselves,” said Kang.

Dr. Mark Haden, a professor at the UBC School of Population and Public Health and a supervisor with the B.C. Centre on Substance Use, said it shows the indiscriminate nature of addiction.

“Being employed by the system does not protect one from addiction,” he said.

Hydromorphone is sometimes used in opiate-replacement therapy as a substitute for stronger street-level drugs. Last month, Canada became the first country in the world to approve use of injectable hydromorphone in treating opioid use disorder.

Haden said making the drug legally accessible could prevent thefts — and deaths.

“If hospital staff who are also addicted to opiates had (open) access to them, they wouldn’t steal them,” he said. “I think the solution to the fentanyl crisis and people stealing from hospitals is the same.”

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29May

SPCA promotes human-pet bond after dog stolen from Vancouver homeless man

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Dave M., a homeless man who didn’t want his last name used, says his Alaskan Eskimo dog Cutiepie was stolen on Granville Street. He’s holding a poster he is hoping will help him find his dog.


Mike Bell / PNG

The bond between humans and animals is so powerful that the mental and physical health of a pet owner can be lifted just by having their animal in their life, according to the SPCA.

Despite that, there is still some stigma toward pet ownership by people who are living on the streets, spokeswoman for the B.C. SPCA, Lorie Chortyk, said Wednesday.

The animal welfare organization is among the groups that work to support relationships between homeless people — many of whom have been through tough times in their lives — and their pets.

“Often for these individuals this is the first time they’ve ever experienced unconditional love,” Chortyk said.

“I think anyone who’s had a pet understands how powerful that bond is. But if you haven’t experienced that unconditional love, that bond is even stronger. And those individuals protect that animal and protect that bond even more.”


Dave M., a homeless man who didn’t want his last name used, says his Alaskan Eskimo dog Cutiepie was stolen on Granville Street. He’s holding a poster he is hoping will help him find his dog.

Mike Bell /

PNG

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Chortyk’s comments came a few days after a white American Eskimo dog named Cutiepie was stolen from a man living on the sidewalk out front of the Hudson’s Bay department store on Granville Street in Downtown Vancouver.

Dave M, who declined to give his full last name, said he had left Cutiepie with his belongings while he used the washroom around 2:30 p.m. Friday. When he returned, the dog was gone. A frantic search of the surrounding streets was fruitless.

Cutiepie has been in Dave’s life for about six years. He presumed the then-eight-year-old dog had been abandoned before she arrived at his house in Mission, he said.

Asked if he knew who might have taken his dog, Dave said: “I’ve heard a couple people say (to the dog) ‘we’re going to give you a good home’, like, maybe four walls and a roof. … but I spend 24 hours a day with my dog. I take care of her. She’s my baby.”


Dave M., a homeless man who didn’t want his last name used, says his Alaskan Eskimo dog Cutiepie was stolen on Granville Street.

Mike Bell /

PNG

Dave, who has lived on the street for the past eight months, described Cutiepie as looking like a polar bear, with white hair, short little legs, a small head and a fat body. She’s a calm dog who loved being petted and she would spend hours in his lap being groomed, he said.

Dave asked anyone who has seen Cutiepie to alert the SPCA or the VPD, with whom he said he has filed a police report.

The SPCA has a program to help people who live on the streets care for their pets, and in Chortyk’s experience, people in that situation tend to be “so dedicated” to that cause.

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“Certainly, we’ve met a lot of people who will go without food themselves in order to make sure that their pets are well taken care of,” she said.

Through its Charlie’s pet food bank initiative, the SPCA offers things like nail trims, training tips, veterinary care, surgeries and referrals, as well as food, toys, carriers and leashes. The program is open to donations.

If anyone is concerned about the well-being of any animal they can contact the SPCA at 1-855-622-7722, and the organization can send out a staff member to assess the situation. If needed, they can either take the animal into care or try to help the owner, Chortyk said.

Studies and surveys around the world have repeatedly shown the importance pets can have in the lives of street-involved people, according to a 2014 research review written by Emma Woolley in her capacity as a research assistant with the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness.

Woolley referenced a 2012 paper by Leslie Irvine, titled Animals as Lifechangers and Lifesavers: Pets in the Redemption Narratives of Homeless People, who conducted a series of interviews at pet clinics in the U.S. and found pets had led their owners to give up drugs, escape depression or even choose to continue living.

A Chihuahua was stolen from a panhandler around East Hastings and Nanaimo St. last year, according to CBC. The dog was later recovered by police after it was spotted by a good Samaritan.

Steve Addison, a VPD spokesman, encouraged anyone with information about a crime to call police. He said VPD did not have readily available data on the frequency of pets being stolen.

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28Feb

Bike stolen in Vancouver the very first time newcomer locked it outside

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It was not the “welcome to Canada” moment that Mahshid Hadi was expecting.

The 27-year-old moved to Coqutilam from Turkey in December and the very first time she locked her bike in downtown Vancouver it was stolen.

“I didn’t bring any clothes with me – I just carried my bike with me,” Hadi said, explaining that her bike took up most of her 23-kilogram suitcase during the journey to Canada.

Originally from Iran, Hadi was a refugee in Turkey for more than four years.

Working as an ELS teacher, she said it took two years to save up enough money to buy the bike. Hadi said she would ride from one poor community to another – teaching kids how to ride it.

“This bike meant a lot to me because it carried so many stories with it,” Hadi said.

On Saturday, Feb. 23, Hadi had locked her bike on Homer Street in front of Westside Church, where she was volunteering at a film festival. When she came out it was gone.

“I was thinking, the world is gone from in front of my eyes,” Hadi said.

One security camera in the area recorded the moment two thieves approach her bike. According to the video, at 8:24 p.m. a man appears to cut her bike lock and ride away.

Another woman seen in the video follows the thief using a different bike.

“Bike thefts continue to be an issue in Vancouver and other cities around British Columbia,” explained Const. Jason Doucette with Vancouver Police.

Doucette said more than 2,000 bikes were stolen in the city in 2018.

Vancouver police recommend owners record the serial number on their bike, take a photo of the bike, and also take a photo of them with the bike.

“We recover many bikes that are stolen and we can’t link back to an owner and they end up going to auction and we don’t want to do that,” Doucette explained.

Meanwhile, Hadi is holding out hope someone will read her story and find it in their heart to return the bike.

Her message to the thief is, “This bike is much more than what you may think or imagine. It affects my life, it affects my future opportunities. I would like this bike back.”


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