This portable barbecue is lent out by Otter Co-op to numerous charities to help them raise funds for a variety of causes. It was stolen from an enclosure at the 248 Street business on Sunday at 2 a.m., and police are seeking public help in getting it back.

Theft of barbecue hits charities hard

Otter Co-op's $10,000 portable barbecue is in constant use by a variety of charitable and community groups.

Numerous charities across Langley are scrambling after a heartless thief or thieves made off with one of Otter Co-op’s commercial-sized barbecues, which are lent out to non-profit organizations.

“It’s booked all summer long for charity events. We also supply the propane,” said Jack Nicholson, Otter Co-op general manager. “The thief didn’t just steal a barbecue, he stole from the whole community.”

For five years now, Otter Co-op has lent out a barbecue to all sorts of associations, sports and school groups to help them raise funds through barbecue sales. It was so necessary and successful, Otter Co-op actually went out and bought another.

On Sunday night, at 2 a.m., thieves cut the the locks of the enclosure that a barbecue was stored in, at Otter Co-op’s store at 248 Street and Fraser Highway.

Police are on the case but members of the community are too.

“We posted it on our Facebook page and that day we had 116,000 people view it,” said Nicholson. “We’ve had great community support on this.”

Numerous people have commented on the theft, many saying how low the thief went to steal from a charity. Others are reposting the message across the Lower Mainland and some are reporting sightings of it.

Insurance will replace the barbecue, but it will take a while.

Nicholson is just hoping the thief does the right thing and return it so charities can use it again for the summer. The barbecue has “Otter Co-Op” logo on it.

A similar industrial-sized barbecue was taken from Lepp Farm in Abbotsford last week. If you know anything about this theft, call Langley RCMP at 604-532-3200.

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