Lisa Werring, executive director of the Surrey Christmas Bureau, in front of the mostly empty shelves for teenagers. The bureau was broken into early Wednesday morning, Dec. 11. (Photo: Lauren Collins)

‘Absolutely devastating’: Laptops, gift cards stolen from Surrey Christmas Bureau

Executive director says it’s a ‘huge blow’ and the charity was ‘already struggling for teen gifts’

Who would break into a Christmas bureau?

That’s what Lisa Werring is asking herself after discovering someone broke into the Surrey Christmas Bureau’s toy depot early Wednesday morning, getting away with three of four new laptops recently donated as well gift cards earmarked for teens.

“This is the grinch that stole Christmas for a bunch of teens. Literally,” said Werring, the charity’s executive director. “It’s a huge blow.”

Werring told the Now-Leader that Surrey RCMP alerted her of the break-in at 7 a.m.

“Somebody had kicked in our back door and got in. The break-in happened sometime shortly after 6 a.m.,” she said. “While we were already struggling for teen gifts, now we basically don’t have any. All the gift cards coming in for teenagers have been taken. It’s absolutely devastating.”

Surrey RCMP said in a press release that it’s believed roughly $6,000 in gift cards were take, in addition to the laptops. Police continue to investigate the break-and-enter.

“To have an incident like this occur against a charity that works hard to support families during the holiday season is deplorable,” said Inspector Gurmakh Parmar in a release. “I encourage anyone with information about this incident to contact police and help ensure we can support those that support the vulnerable in our community.”

READ ALSO: VIDEO: A behind-the-scenes look at Surrey Christmas Bureau’s ‘pop-up Toys R Us’

READ MORE: Surrey Christmas Bureau calls for donations to meet ‘increasing need’

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(A Surrey RCMP officer collecting evidence from the scene of the break in at the Surrey Christmas Bureau, which was broken into in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Photo: Lauren Collins)

The charity had put out a call for donations in late November to meet an “increasing need” in the community.

Werring said late last month that more than 1,200 families including 3,360 children had already signed up for help and more are registering every day.

Toys and cash donations can be dropped off to the depot at at 10240 City Pkwy., Monday to Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The 2019 Toy Wish list and a link for financial donations are also available on the Christmas Bureau website at christmasbureau.com.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502, or Crime Stoppers, to remain anonymous, at 1-800-222-8477 or solvecrime.ca, quoting file number 2019-191430.



amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

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