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UPDATE: Charges approved in Abbotsford poppy box thefts

Suspect in a series of poppy donation box thefts.  - File photo
Suspect in a series of poppy donation box thefts.
— image credit: File photo

A Mission woman is facing five charges relating to the thefts of poppy boxes from five locations in Abbotsford.

Lisa Marie Goddard, 30, has been in custody since May 15, after receiving a six-month sentence on May 15 for the theft of a poppy donation box in Mission.

On May 21, Goddard was charged with five additional counts of theft for allegedly stealing Royal Canadian Legion donation boxes from five Abbotsford locations – three gas stations and a convenience store on McCallum Road and a farm market on Clayburn Road.

Goddard is next scheduled to appear on those charges June 4 in Abbotsford provincial court.

The thefts occurred around Remembrance Day last year, and the Abbotsford Police Department embarked on an investigation and gathered evidence from all the targeted locations.

According to APD spokesman Const. Ian MacDonald, it was a "lengthy and involved investigation," as police looked into similar types of theft throughout the region.

At the time of the thefts last November, members of the legion estimated the missing funds to be up to $3,000.

Abbotsford Legion members first became aware of the theft Nov. 12, when volunteer drivers went to pick up the boxes and were told they had already been collected. An image of the suspect was obtained from video surveillance at one of the businesses that was hit.

The white plastic boxes contained poppies sold in recognition of Nov. 11, and included a slot for donations to be deposited. They were placed throughout the community starting Oct. 25.

Staff at the locations from which the boxes were stolen had similar reports of a woman entering the business and claiming to be picking up the boxes on behalf of the legion.

According to the provincial court database, Goddard has several prior convictions for fraud and other offences such as possession of stolen property, theft, using a stolen credit card, break-and-enter, and breaching her probation.

In December 2011, Langley RCMP issued a warrant for her arrest after Goddard was accused of racking up charges on two stolen credit cards.

– with files from Vikki Hopes

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