Charity shop broken into twice this month

by Stephen Dafoe

Morinville – Police are currently investigating a pair of break-and-enters that occurred on two consecutive weekends in Morinville. Sometime on the weekend of Apr. 11 to 13, and again over the Easter weekend, the Midstream Support Society’s thrift store on 101 Street was broken into and items were taken. Although it is believed some articles of clothing and other items may have been stolen on both occassions, the greater concern is the theft of chequebooks and client files.

Midstream President Susan Swanson said the shop was entered through the back door on both occasions and the society’s chequing account was closed as soon as they became aware the chequebooks were taken. The support organization’s greater concern, and the reason they are reaching out to the public, is those who entered the shop over the Easter weekend broke into a locked filing cabinet and stole about one year’s worth of client files.

“They helped themselves into the office where we didn’t have a whole lot of valuables, but paperwork that didn’t have a whole lot of information on it that was really worth stealing,” Swanson said. “I really don’t know what the point was or why they’d bother to take it. It just had addresses, phone numbers, and names – nothing any different than what’s already in the phone book.”

The Midstream President said the society does not record Social Insurance Numbers, credit card numbers or driver’s license numbers as part of their process; however, she said there might have been the odd file that had a driver’s license number on it. “It links these people to our store,” Swanson said of the information breach, adding basic information on 50 to 75 clients was taken. “Anyone who has been in and requested assistance knows what type of information we require from them. It’s just a matter of letting the public know that there has been a breach in the information collected – but it is minimal.”

Morinville RCMP Constable D L J Rouse said police are working on the two incidents. “The file is ongoing and Edmonton Police Services is currently working on a pair of very valuable leads that will likely lead to the arrest of two suspects,” Rouse said, adding Morinville RCMP initially had little in the way of evidence or witnesses to the pair of break-ins. “We had limited leads, but since the time the investigation began … Edmonton Police are making some headway.”

Swanson said additional security measures have been taken at the store locations to help prevent the shop being broken into again.

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