The Sicamous United Church Thrift Store’s manager suspects someone slipped under this fence to steal items between Dec. 20 and 26, 2021. (Contributed)

The Sicamous United Church Thrift Store’s manager suspects someone slipped under this fence to steal items between Dec. 20 and 26, 2021. (Contributed)

Sicamous thrift store seeks help fortifying fences after recent thefts

Sicamous United Church Thrift Store had most of its winter sports gear stolen between Dec. 20 and 26

A Sicamous thrift store was the target of thieves during the holiday season.

Brenda Honkanen is the manager of the Sicamous United Church Thrift Store. She said sometime over its Christmas closure, Dec. 20 to 26, the store’s outdoor storage areas were all but cleaned out.

Honkanen said she and thrift store volunteer Deirdre Robinson were both saddened by the thefts, as they said lots of quality winter sports gear was stolen from their fenced in “cage” area.

“All our cross-country skis, snowboards and snowboard bindings, all but two pairs of men’s skates… who knows what else they took,” said Honkanen.

They believe those responsible got in under the fence of the cage area, then placed a coffee table up against the inside of it to stand on and lifted items over. Honkanen is now seeking the help of a welder to reinforce the fencing, though she said unfortunately the church does not have a large budget for this work. She’s hoping a kind tradesperson might donate some work hours to help solve their theft problem.

Honkanen said the thrift store has tried using security cameras in the past but those were either stolen or destroyed. Now, she’s looking into smaller security cameras that could be hidden, but again, budget is an issue. The United Church thrift store is a non-profit and run by volunteers, most of whom are in their 80’s.

“(Church) funds are fairly limited… they go by what we raise in the thrift store… but we try to keep our prices down so people can afford to come in here when they need something,” said Honkanen.

The store’s unsecured furniture storage area was also stolen from over the Christmas season, a large dining room table, six chairs and assorted smaller furniture went missing.

Honkanen said she wants Sicamous residents to know they should drop off donations only during the thrift store’s open hours so volunteers can ensure the donations are secure. She also appealed to the public to take note of details such as type of vehicle if they see any suspicious activity near the store.

To arrange a donation drop off, folks can phone 250-836-4390.

Read more: Volunteers frustrated with Sicamous thrift shop being used as a dump

Read more: Sicamous United Church thrift store celebrates 25 years in business

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