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Companies step up to help Maple Ridge food bank after break-in

Donors take care of damage, replace stolen laptops and safe
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Jesse Ochitwa paints at the Friends in Need Food Bank. He is with KSR Ltd., and contracted by RainCity Industrial to help repair damage from the recent break-in. (Evan Seal/Special to The News)

As discouraging as it is to see people rip off an essential charity like the Friends in Need Food Bank, it’s heartening when others rally to help.

On Jan. 5, thieves broke into the food bank that serves thousands of clients in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows. They damaged the building as they forced their way in, and stole two laptops and a safe from the administrative offices.

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Safe, laptops stolen from food bank in Maple Ridge

The people responsible for the break-in pried open the door to the administrative offices, beside the main entrance to the food bank, and made their way upstairs where they punched out a lock, and gained access to the floor. Then they kicked in four doors.

There could have been thousands of dollars diverted from the non-profit’s cause to pay for the losses, but some businesses that learned of the break-in came to the rescue.

“We got some great help from the community,” said food bank general manager Evan Seal.

Richmond Building Supplies and Rain City Industrial donated doors, frames, patched walls, painted and re-installed locks and doorknobs.

Then McDonald’s Restaurants of Western Canada replaced the stolen laptops and the safe.

“To have these companies step up and offer help like that, just to support the community, is amazing,” said Seal.

“We are very appreciative.”

Ridge Meadows RCMP released photos of two suspects, who had some districtive shoes and clothing, hoping to get tips from the public.

Seal said there has so far been no update from police regarding suspects or charges.

Anyone with information about the break-in or who are able to identify the suspects are asked to call the RCMP at 604-604-7647.

READ ALSO: Police release photos of suspects in Maple Ridge break-in


Have a story tip? Email: ncorbett@mapleridgenews.com
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Neil Corbett

About the Author: Neil Corbett

I have been a journalist for more than 30 years, the past decade with the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News.
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