Thrifty thief in Truro

Vandal goes diving for donations at Salvation Army Thrift Store

Ryan Cooke
Published on August 1, 2014
Breagh and Daniel Rowe, newly ordained Salvation Army ministers in Truro, stand in front of their donation bin at the thrift store on Forrester Street. A vandal damaged the bin earlier in the week, made away with some donations and scattered the rest around the parking lot. Ryan Cooke – Truro Daily News.

TRURO – A pair of new faces in the community received a rude welcoming from one vandal last weekend, despite their goal to help anyone they can.

Daniel and Breagh Rowe, newly ordained Salvation Army ministers, got a surprise when they came to work on Tuesday. Earlier that morning, volunteers at the Salvation Army Thrift Store on Forrester Street found their parking lot in disarray.

After reviewing security footage, they found somebody had busted into the bin late Sunday night, picked through the donations, taken what they wanted and discarded the rest.

“It’s been a recurring thing, so we’ve been told,” Breagh said, adding the couple has only been in the area for a month. “Unfortunately people find themselves in situations where they are desperate and they go through a lot to get what they feel they need.”

The vandal had initially tried to get into the Salvation Army vehicle, a 15-passenger van. Once he/she realized it was a fruitless effort, the vandal turned to the bin. After ripping the bin open and trying to tear it apart all together, the vandal threw a sweater over the sharp edge of the door and used a pallet to climb up and dive in headfirst.

Daniel said he and his wife do their best to be a positive change for people in the community, but it’s hard to do when people resist it like this.

“It’s frustrating,” Daniel said. “We’re here to help people, no matter what their problem is. When things like this happen it disables us from being able to do that.”

Despite their only donation bin being damaged severely, the thrift store volunteers were adamant they could do something about it.

“We have great volunteers over there who keep saying ‘We can fix that, don’t worry,’” she said. “I think it’s fixable but it’s enough to cause some grief.”

Despite the nagging vandalism, it’s been a great month for the Rowes, who came to Truro from Winnipeg.

Breagh grew up in Yarmouth, while Daniel’s parents held the exact post the young couple now holds in Truro during the ‘90s.

“We were thrilled to be going east,” Breagh said. “We love the ocean, love the culture, and the more laid back kind of lifestyle.”

They won’t let the damage dampen their experiences, and will continue striving to help the community as per the Salvation Army’s purpose. Still, Daniel can’t help but think of the donations gone to waste from the thief.

“It really tears at my heart to see this and to know that because of this we can’t help people with those goods.”

Truro Police are investigating the incident, said Inspector Rob Hearn. The Rowes turned over the security footage to the police, who are now reviewing it and searching for any leads.

“We’ve left it in their hands, and we trust them wholeheartedly,” Daniel said.