A Durham food hub that supplies over 60 local charities says it is missing over $90,000 in goods, including a new refrigerated van, after an overnight break-in this week.
In a news release, Durham police said they were called to the Feed the Need warehouse on Marwood Drive around 6 a.m. on Thursday after someone got inside and stole electronics and other supplies, as well as a large panel van, which was used to move food in the community.
Feed the Need CEO Ben Earle told CBC News that his staff came to the warehouse Thursday morning and found items displaced and strewn over the facility.
Other items that were taken include electronics like computers, monitors, laptops and cell phones, Earle said, adding that the van was a key part of what the organization does in the community.
"The need for what we do and getting food to the people is increasingly growing across the GTA and Ontario, and that van was an important part to respond to that community," said Earle.
Police said in the news release that the stolen van was last spotted later Thursday morning in the area of Trulls Road and Highway 2 in Courtice, west of Oshawa. An officer tried to stop the van, but the driver took off, police said.
"The brief pursuit was discontinued out of concern for public safety," police said. The suspect is described as a white man between 30 and 40 years old, who was wearing a green and yellow toque.
"We know that times are tough for people and they're desperate — and when they're desperate, they make decisions like this," said Earle.
He said the organization's plan of expanding its services will be affected for a while due to the break-in, but work will continue with help from community members.
"We've got great volunteers, great staff members and a great community that has always stepped up to help us. We'll be fine, we'll rebound and move on with our work," said Earle.