Suspect in a series of poppy donation box thefts.

Suspect in a series of poppy donation box thefts.

UPDATED: Charges approved in poppy box thefts

Mission's Lisa Goddard already in custody on unrelated matter

A Mission woman is facing five charges relating to theft of poppy boxes from five locations in Abbotsford.

When the story was first reported yesterday (May 22), Abbotsford Police Department said a warrant for Lisa Marie Goddard, 30, was issued, however, it has since been learned she is already in custody on unrelated matters, said spokesman Const. Ian MacDonald.

On Nov. 10, 2013, a number of Royal Canadian Legion donation boxes were stolen, and the Abbotsford Police Department embarked on an investigation and gathered evidence from all the targeted locations.

According to APD spokesman Const. Ian MacDonald, it was a “lengthy and involved investigation,” as police looked into similar types of theft throughout the region.

Goddard was charged May 21.

The charges relate to poppy boxes snatched from a convenience store and three gas stations on McCallum Road, and a farm market on Clayburn Road. And while they are donation boxes and an exact tally of how much money was taken is impossible, MacDonald said people tend to be generous and he estimated the thief could have gotten at least “a couple thousand dollars.”

Abbtosford Legion members first became aware of the theft Nov. 12 when volunteer drivers went to pickup the boxes and were told they had already been collected.

The white plastic boxes contain poppies sold in recognition of Nov. 11, and include a slot for donations to be deposited. They were placed throughout the community starting Oct. 25.

Staff at those locations from which the boxes were stolen had similar reports: a woman entering the business and claiming to be picking up the boxes on behalf of the legion.