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Thieves steal Christmas dinner

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A Maple Ridge woman lost her Christmas dinner in a brazen break-in two weeks ago that's left her freezer empty.

Cheryl Ann Payne discovered the freezer on her deck wide open when she returned home to her apartment on Dec. 6.

When she looked inside, the turkey for a holiday feast and beef, pork, fish and vegetables that were meant to feed her for a month were missing.

"It really kills you at this time of year," said Payne, who lives on a disability because her kidneys are failing.

"I have to be very careful with my diet. I can not replace the food items so easily at this time of the year. It's a time of giving, not a time to steal from others."

Payne is shocked that the thieves made their way to the back of her building on 121 Avenue near Brown Avenue.

She said they had to get past a gate and into a fenced grassy area to spot the freezer.

The turkey and fixings were going to be served on Christmas to her daughters and seven grandchildren.

"It just feels like a hole," said Payne. "You hear about things like this at Christmas, but you never think it's going to be you. It really ruins things."

Payne's freezer now has two heavy-duty locks on it.

"They won't be able to get into it now," she says.

Payne isn't the only Maple Ridge resident who has been targeted by thieves this holiday season.

Ridge Meadows RCMP report thefts from homes and cars historically spike in December.

Sissel Vanderster's friend had tools stolen from his truck, which was parked on 123rd Avenue, near Laity Street.

The theft happened overnight Sunday or early Monday.

The thieves made off with a blue canvas bag full with Makita tools and a $500 cordless drill that he needs for work.

"He's stuck now," said Vanderster, adding her friend has no insurance. "I don't know how he's going to replace them."

• Anyone with information about the thefts is asked to call Ridge Meadows RCMP at 604-463-6251. If you find a blue canvas tool bag and tools marked with two white dots, drop it off at the RCMP detachment on Edge Street in Maple Ridge.

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