Widespread poppy donation thefts spread to Cambridge
The theft of poppy box donations have made headlines this week, and now a location in Cambridge, Ont. has also been targeted.
A McDonald's location on Hespeler Road was targeted twice over the weekend, but the restaurant's owner says they are committed to the Legion.
The Preston Legion Poppy Committee spends up to 12 hours a day rolling change from poppy boxes.
Poppy chairman Kathy Sharp says "Every penny counts and we appreciate it all."
In her 12 years as poppy chairman, Sharp says she's never had a whole box stolen until this past weekend.
Her initial concern upon hearing about the theft was the safety of the restaurant's employees, and she wonders "How can you do that, how can somebody do that?"
The poppy box has now been removed from the restaurant for two reasons.
Sharp says it's to deter more thefts and "Nor do I want any employee to be put in a situation of trying to rescue the box."
The theft of poppy boxes is an increasing concern across Ontario.
In Hamilton, a man was arrested Wednesday in connection with six alleged thefts. Meanwhile in Toronto a man turned himself in on Monday after allegedly stealing three poppy boxes.
Waterloo Regional Police spokesperson Olaf Heinzel says it's hard to keep the boxes safe as they are, "Perhaps by mechanically attaching them to a counter space, something of that nature that would work for them."
Back at the Preston Legion, veterans are talking about the thefts.
Legion member Walter Morton, a veteran of the Korean War, says the culprit should "Either go to jail or go into the service, because they would understand what the poppy really means then."
Meanwhile poppy box thefts have also been reported in Brantford, Trenton, North Bay and Orangeville.
Police in all regions are asking anyone with information to contact them directly.