For the second time in seven months, Journey middle school is the victim of a crime that’s impacted officials’ ability to respond to a potentially catastrophic event.
On Monday, members of the school’s parents advisory committee went out to the emergency supply cache behind the school, only to find that the lock had been broken and the container looted of all its supplies.
The supplies had been stored in a metal shipping container behind the school. The container contained a host of equipment and supplies designed for the safety of the children in the school, should a disaster strike.
“We had more than $1,500 of supplies in there, and now, it’s all gone,” said Sandy Hull, school secretary and president of the Journey Middle School PAC.
“There are only five people on the PAC and it took us two years of fundraising to get the money to fill the emergency container. I don’t know how we’re going to replace all of those things now.”
The PAC members had gone to the shipping contatiner, alo referred to a as a C Can, to deposit 800 bottles of water and were heartbroken to find that someone had stooped so low as to steal supplies from children.
Hull noted that some of the stolen supplies are distinctive and could easily be identified.
“We had six tents that are 8X2 and octagonal in shape. They have reddish-brown roofs and are very solid structures. People would notice these tents,” she said.
“We also had a large tent for the children, big enough for about 60 children to take shelter.”
Also stolen were a solar power kit and batteries, tarps, flashlights, shovels, rakes, first-aid supplies, and a host of other material.
“What’s so disheartening is that this is the second time we’ve been the victims of this sort of crime,” said Hull.
“Before the C Can being donated by West Coast Storage, we had constructed a lovely shed to hold the emergency supplies. We never got to use it at all before someone burned it to the ground last March. At the time, we were thankful that at least we hadn’t had a chance to load supplies into the new shed. But now all the supplies are gone anyway.”
The school has also recently seen the senseless vandalism of the Diabetes Canada donation bin that was located in the same area as the emergency cache.
“They (Diabetes Canada) had to finally come and remove it because it was constantly being vandalized,” said Hull.
For now, the 520 students at Journey have no emergency supply bin outside the school and the staff are left wondering what would happen should disaster strike.
“I went home last night and had a little cry,” said Hull.
The theft has been reported to the Sooke RCMP and an investigation is underway.
RCMP urge anyone with information regarding the crime to contact Sooke RCMP or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 250-642-5241 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.