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Bags of donated parkas and winter gear stolen from Calgary charity

A Calgary charity is in shock following the brazen theft of bags of donated parkas and other clothing that were destined for the city’s less fortunate.

Project Warmth has been collecting used and new winter gear for years in Calgary. They also clean and repair donated items as well, said Jonathan Fesik, vice president of operations.

But the organization has never been a victim of crime before, Fesik said.

“Very unusual, it’s crazy really,” he said.

Fesik said things were busy Tuesday at the charity’s northeast operation when staff noticed something was amiss — more than ten bags of donated clothing that had been placed near the building’s bay doors were gone.

“We were just jammed getting everything inside,” he said. “[We’ve] been doing this for 25 years…we’ve never ever had a problem.”

Calgary police confirmed an investigation is underway and they are looking at CCTV footage from the surrounding area.

Fesik said the thieves were pretty brazen and must have had a van or a similar vehicle to transport the large bags of clothing.

The theft is a blow to the charity, as donations are down this year, he said.  Fesik also worries the theft is a symptom of a greater problem.

“[It’s a] true indication of the economics of this province right now, people are really hurting,” he said. “It hurts..the problem is you don’t get this stuff back.”

Fesik said the group is accepting donations to get their stock up again. People who want to help out can drop off donations at any fire hall.

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