Dylan Van Rooyen, the vice-president of the Surrey Fire Fighters’ Charitable Society, said the thrift store’s van was stolen “sometime after 7 p.m. on December 29th in South Surrey.” The van transports donations to the Newton thrift store from Fire Hall 17 (15329 32nd Ave.).
The thrift store is a partnership between the firefighters and the Surrey Hospice Society. The store helps to raise funds for the two charities, and Van Rooyen said it’s also used as a resource “in the event somebody is in need of essential items due to the impacts of an emergency incident.”
The van was found Wednesday (Dec. 30) in Langley, Van Rooyen said, but with “all of the decals removed, ignition damaged and was not drivable, requiring a tow.”
Van Rooyen said the van is “a little older,” so the society is “fearful that the damage may exceed what our insurance would cover and a replacement van would cost far more than what the payout would be.”
He said they’re waiting to find out how badly damaged the van is and how long it will take to have it back on the road again.
It will “undoubtedly” impact the store for early 2021, Van Rooyen noted.
“It is always a little disheartening when these things happen, but we won’t let it prevent our two organizations from pushing forward,” he told the Now-Leader.
Van Rooyen added the past couple of years have been “particularly challenging” for the thrift store, with multiple break-ins in late 2019 and a three-month closure in early 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.