Thieves steal thousands of dollars worth of jewelry from Kamloops hospital thrift store | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source
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Thieves steal thousands of dollars worth of jewelry from Kamloops hospital thrift store

Thrift Seller manager Judy Kosolofski (left) poses with volunteer Donna Otto.

A volunteer run thrift store that brings in money for the hospital in Kamloops was the target of a smash and grab on Friday, with thieves making off with thousands of dollars worth of precious jewelry.

Run by senior volunteers and two paid managers, Thrift Seller at 126 Victoria Street had one front window smashed, one front window damaged and a locked case full of jewelry smashed and emptied just after 3 a.m., April 26.

Store manager Judy Kosolofski said the incident left her feeling sad and frustrated.

A volunteer run thrift store that brings in money for the hospital in Kamloops was the target of a smash and grab a few nights ago, with thieves making off with thousands of dollars worth of precious jewelry.
A volunteer run thrift store that brings in money for the hospital in Kamloops was the target of a smash and grab a few nights ago, with thieves making off with thousands of dollars worth of precious jewelry.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Robin Goodfellow

“People at the hospital, they die and bequeath their high-end jewelry and that’s why we had so much gold and silver in there,” Kosolofski said.

“These people wanted the proceeds to go to the hospital because they were treated so well there. That’s the part that hurts the most.”

The downtown shop is part of the Royal Inland Hospital Afternoon Auxiliary, a registered charity that raises money for special patient care equipment.

The recent smash and grab is just one crime against the store in recent months stemming from the social disorder in the city's downtown core.

“Not a day goes by where there isn’t a problem, whether its theft, graffiti or verbal abuse,” Kosolofski said, flipping through a thick book of photos she keeps of “dangerous offenders” and documented cases of crime.

“Everyday it’s something.”

Kosolofski spends most of her management shifts helping to monitor for thefts.

“(Thieves) just put stuff under their coat, we do what we can safely, eventually some of them will quit and leave. If one person gets away with shoes or a jacket for example, they go and tell their buddies we’re an easy mark and then you have a whole bunch of them coming in.”

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Donna Otto has been a volunteer at the store for 17 years, donating her time twice a week for the charitable cause.

“Our managers have important work to do and spend half their shift following people around,” she said. “The problem I find is I’m going to be 80 years old next month and I’m the average age here, we’re not prepared to defend ourselves.

“These items are donated and it’s a shame when they’re stolen, and at our age, we’re not chasing anyone down Victoria Street for a $3 shirt."

Thrift Seller is full of clothing and household items that cost just a few dollars each.

“We try to keep lower prices because we want to help people and we also want to help the hospital,” Otto said.

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Kamloops RCMP are looking for information related to the break and enter and the Forensic Identification Service Unit is assisting in the investigation, according to a media release issued by the detachment today, April 30.

A review of the security footage showed the incident occurred around 3:15 a.m.

Anyone with video or information that may be related is asked to please contact the Kamloops RCMP at 250-828-3000 and reference file 2024-12121.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Ainslie or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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