Thousands of Lunar New Year envelopes and more stolen during break-in at Dragon Boat BC's Vancouver office

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      A theft from a Vancouver sports organization has put a major damper on preparations for the Lunar New Year on Saturday (January 25).

      The non-profit Canadian International Dragon Boat Festival Society stated today (January 21) that suspects broke into the office of Dragon Boat BC, which operates the Dragon Zone Paddling Club and organizes the Concord Pacific Dragon Boat Festival, at Creekside Community Centre (1 Athletes Way) on January 19.

      Communications representative Ross Sullivan told the Georgia Straight by phone that cleaners heard an alarm go off around 2 a.m. after a window was broken. Unfortunately, there haven't been any witnesses or video footage of the incident.

      Among the items stolen were computers, ceremonial drums and paddles, an office safe (with over $1,000 in cash and cheques), files (without any value outside of the organization), and thousands of lucky red envelopes with prizes for Lunar New Year community celebrations scheduled for this weekend.

      While insurance will cover part of the losses, Dragon Boat BC stated that “a significant amount of labour will be required to bring things back to the same state of operation”.

      Dragon Boat BC added that while their offices are closed today and tomorrow (January 21 and 22), the docks and practice schedule are operating as usual, and volunteers and paddlers are working to replace the stolen red envelopes before this weekend’s events.

      Last week, a performance group from Lake Babine Nation had their Indigenous regalia and drums stolen from their van parked in Downtown Vancouver on January 15, and the search to recover those items remains ongoing.