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Cedar Farmers Market is in shock over the loss of stolen equipment from the nonprofit’s storage container.

Katie Poirier, the nonprofit’s executive director, said in correspondence with the News Bulletin that she discovered the shipping container had been broken into around 6:30 a.m. on Sunday, July 3, but thought that the theft had occurred during the previous week. The culprits had used a grind to cut the locks, removed any valuables from the container, then reassembled the locking mechanism to make it look like everything was fine.

Poirier estimates that about $6,000 in electrical and sound equipment was taken, including power distribution units that market vendors can plug into, carts, power cables, speakers, radiators and other equipment. She’s still trying to make a list of everything that’s been stolen.

Poirier also learned on Monday July 4 that the market‘s insurance company would not cover the loss.

“So we had a secondary shock this morning when we found out our insurance wouldn’t cover any of this,” she said.

The market has operated summer weekends on the grounds of Woodbank Elementary School in Cedar for the past few years.

Poirier said the school was being painted and neighbors told him there had been a number of extra workers on site and strange noises on the property.

So far, the police have little to do to investigate further.

“No suspects, no witnesses,” said the reserve constable. Nanaimo RCMP spokesperson Gary O’Brien.

Poirier said it was the organization’s first major theft.

“We have had repeated acts of vandalism on this site,” she said. “Always from what appear to be children. They have been caught several times. Overturned toilets, graffiti, etc. This is the biggest incident and the first time it seems to be adults [or] professionals.”

In an attempt to recoup the loss, Poirier set up a GoFundMe page to ask for community help in replacing equipment and improving security at the site.

“I should be spending this week fundraising for our free food program, organizing my arts program… organizing our cooking demo on July 24th. That’s what I had planned for this week,” said Poirier. “Now, I am more behind on the beautiful projects that serve the community. I write police reports and solicit donations from businesses. I really see the beauty of all this support, but we really have some amazing things to contribute to society that we can’t work on because of this.

To donate to help replace market equipment, visit http://gofund.me/7398ca7f.

Anyone with information about the theft is asked to call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345 and quote case number 2022-22780.


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