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Scrap metal thieves dent Guelph minor hockey team’s fundraising efforts

Guelph Junior Storm (Sarah Dea Photography)

We've all been there. You're walking past a dumpster, and you see a perfectly good coffeemaker. So you take it.

Well guess what: You may have just dashed a child's dreams.

The Junior Storm are a hockey club in the Guelph Minor Hockey Association in Guelph, Ontario. The team is hoping to raise $25,000 for a trip to a tournament in Lake Placid next spring, about $1,000 per family.

Now, when you're talking about that kind of money, you have to get creative, and the Junior Storm have, convincing a recycling company to donate their scrap metal bin to the cause. A full bin would net the team around $400.

Or at least it would if thieves would stop helping themselves to the metal treasures within. From the Guelph Mercury:

"We've lost a snowblower, we've lost multiple washers and dryers, we've lost all kinds of stuff," said Tyler Boothe, one of the parents on the team.

The bin, donated by Benmet Steel and Metal Recycling, is located at Industrial Avenue and Elizabeth Street. It is about seven metres long, 2.5 metres high and two metres wide. Once it fills up with scrap metal, Boothe said the team gets Benmet to collect it. A full bin could be worth about $400, he said, depending on the quality of metal inside.

Several signs on Elizabeth Street and around the bin illustrate what the collection of scrap metal is for, but so far these signs have done nothing to deter thieves.

Yeah, thieves don't listen to signs. If they did, prisons would just be parks with signs that said "please don't leave."

The Junior Storm have even gone to the police, but unfortunately, the Guelph Police can't afford to post someone there to guard the precious bin of unprecious metal. (Looks like they need a fundraiser as well.)

The police urge companies in these situation to either fence the bin or put a lid on it, but this bin is neither fenced nor lidded.

And of course, when the police can't help, the only thing left to do is vigilante justice. Boothe even tried that route, attempting to become the Batman of scrap metal by waiting around the bin between midnight and 1 a.m. to confront metal thieves. Unfortunately, scrap metal thieves are as slick as they are shameless, so he didn't spot any.

"It's disappointing when certain people within your community ruin it for your kids," Boothe told the Guelph Mercury. "It puts a downer on the whole thing."

So let this be a lesson to you, thieves. The next time you go dumpster diving, it's possible that you're stealing from 8-year-olds.

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