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Legion brass sees silver lining after theft
Mounties are still investigating the theft this week of about $1,200 in cash from the Penticton branch of the Royal Canadian Legion, but there is a silver lining: free cable.
The branch’s office clerk arrived at work last Tuesday morning to find the main door open and an empty safe in the office attached to the Legion’s bar, said president Murray Grandy.
He said it appears to have been an inside job as there were no signs of forced entry on any doors or the safe, for which about a half-dozen people knew the combination.
“The problem there with the bar situation was it was being run by volunteers and they had to have all the information to be able to go in and open the bar and get in and do all the things they needed to do,” Grandy said.
It’s been a tough stretch for the Legion, which saw it’s entire executive removed from office last spring due to concerns about violations of its liquor and gaming licences. A new executive was elected late last year and only took office Jan. 1.
Grandy said he’s disappointed that someone close to the Legion would steal from it, and, since the theft, locks have been changed and access to the safe limited to fewer people.
Penticton RCMP spokesman Sgt. Rick Dellebuur said identifying who had access to the cash and ruling out suspects will by a key part of the investigation, which is still underway.
Dellebuur said internal theft is a problem in many organizations, but police are particularly anxious to close this case.
“We recognize the public interest is greater in this because the Royal Canadian Legion is an institution in Canada,” he said.
The silver lining, Grandy said, is that Shaw Media has agreed to provide phone, TV and Internet service to the Legion free of charge for six months, which should make up for the $1,200 loss.
“I think it’s very good of them,” he said.
Shaw did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.