Sunday, May 26, 2024

Another Ottawa charity suffers break-in, theft | CBC News

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An Ottawa non-profit that supports women and gender-diverse people search for jobs, says its downtown clothing boutique was broken into over the weekend.

In a news release, Dress for Success Ottawa said when it opened its doors on Catherine Street on Monday, “we were met with our boutique in disarray, having been thoroughly ransacked.”

“This incident represents not only a violation of our physical space, but also an affront to the spirit of our mission,” the organization said.

Dress for Success Ottawa provides clients with interview and resumé assistance, free professional clothing and other services.

Executive director Jen Crawford said the boutique’s desktop computer and tablets were taken along with some merchandise, including wallets and toiletries.

Thieves used an ashtray to smash this window and gain entry to the Catherine Street boutique, Crawford said. (Submitted by Jen Crawford)

The boutique is still tallying its losses, but Crawford said more than $2,500 worth of technology was stolen and a window was smashed with an ashtray.

“We’re in the middle of that cleanup right now,” she told CBC Tuesday.

Break-in poorly timed

Crawford described the break-in as “unsettling” and said it’s been especially difficult since many clients see boutique as a safe place.

The break-in also occurred just ahead of International Women’s Day on Friday, which Crawford said is the organization’s biggest celebration of the year.

“We’re just trying to figure out how to move forward,” she said.

Three weeks ago, Ottawa refugee non-profit House to Home said it lost thousands of dollars worth of items during a break-in.

Dress for Success Ottawa had to cancel eight appointments with clients after the break-in, but Crawford said the boutique will reopen Wednesday afternoon.

In an email to CBC News, Ottawa police said “The investigation is in the infancy stages and remains active.”

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