A computer technical support office was devastated by vandalism.
The Anglican Church of Canada’s national office in Toronto was robbed and vandalized on two successive nights in late July, with total damage estimated at $30,000.
In the first break-in, on Sunday, July 29, thieves smashed one of the building’s glass front doors and took $654 in cash from the Anglican Book Centre, located off the first-floor lobby.
The door to the bookstore was not damaged, nor was the store’s merchandise, and the thief or thieves apparently knew where the cash was kept, according to manager Dan Benson.
However, on Monday night, the bookstore’s glass door was smashed, along with glass doors leading to the building’s computer room, which is also off the first floor. The thieves were apparently looking for cash in the bookstore again, but found none, since the cash box had been stored elsewhere in the building, Mr. Benson said. The thieves did ransack several desks in the bookstore but there was no additional damage there. They took several pieces of computer equipment from the computer offices and from the telephone switchboard station in the lobby and a number of music CDs from the computer office, according to church house employees.
The robbers also went on a vandalism spree, pouring water over the switchboard, overturning a large potted tree in the lobby, scattering papers and destroying computer equipment. The building’s main computer systems, which were secured in a room separate from the office, were not affected.
“We are all greatly dismayed by the incidents of the past two days,” treasurer Jim Cullen wrote in a note to staff. About 90 people work in the building.
Security guards were engaged to patrol the building overnight, Mr. Cullen wrote. “We are working with our insurance underwriters to ensure full coverage and recovery under our policies,” Mr. Cullen wrote. He also said he wants to improve the building’s security system, which currently consists of door locks, doors only opened by security codes and an alarm system.
The alarm system functioned both nights and Mr. Benson was notified at home by the alarm company. Toronto police are investigating.