Staff at the Pride Centre of Edmonton arrived at work on Tuesday to find the Centre had been broken into and vandalized over the weekend.
“It was very upsetting,” says vice-president Jeff Bovee.
A window in a small back office of the building had been smashed and shredded paper was scattered everywhere. Liquid soap was also squirted throughout the office, damaging a photocopy machine and the internet router.
The Centre is closed on Sundays and Mondays.
Bovee says there’s no sign the crime was hate-motivated.
“I don’t think it was a hate crime,” he says. “I think it was just a spur-of-the-moment thing, because a lot of it doesn’t make sense what they took.”
A computer, telephone, paper shredder, toilet paper and cleaning supplies were among the stolen property.
This is the first time the Centre has been broken into.
“It’s a safe [neighbourhood],” Bovee says. “In four years, we haven’t had a break-in. We’ve never had any real problems at all.”
Since the robbery, work at the Centre has been disrupted, but the community is already showing its support. Bovee says the management of Down Under — a bathhouse in Edmonton — has offered to help with the cost of repairs and replacing any of the stolen items.
“When you’re a non-profit, you can’t afford to replace everything and repair everything all the time,” says Bovee.
He says he’s grateful for the support and hopes to get back to the Centre’s regular workflow soon.
Pride Centre of Edmonton.