A Saanich school is processing the loss of a student-built greenhouse that was stolen at some point on Monday night.
On Tuesday morning (Jan. 12), staff at Artemis Place Secondary – an independent school in Saanich – were shocked to find that one of their new greenhouses had been stolen along with parts of a second.
A teacher happened to look out the window and notice that one of the recently installed greenhouses was missing, explained Rachel Calder, director of Artemis Place Society. The incident was reported to the Saanich Police Department.
Upon inspection, staff noticed that parts of the other greenhouse were also missing and Saanich police said this may be an indication that the suspect or suspects were interrupted during the theft.
“It’s really discouraging,” Calder said, noting that the greenhouses were built by the students and used to teach job skills and ecology.
They were made with two-by-fours, PVC pipe and plastic tarp – worth about $800, not including the labour costs, she explained. The greenhouses were also well-secured so there’s “no way it could have blown away in the wind.”
Calder is disappointed that someone would steal from a non-profit and school. It “feels violating,” she said.
Students in Grade 10-12 attend the school but younger children are also on-site because the school offers a young parent program with daycare facilities.
The greenhouses were being readied for planting in the spring and played a significant role in the school’s garden expansion and restoration project.
“This is a major loss for our non-profit school community and we are devastated that people in our community have stolen this,” the school said in a Facebook post calling for witnesses.
According to Const. Markus Anastasiades, public information officer for the Saanich Police Department, there were no suspects as of Jan. 13. Police are seeking witnesses and ask that anyone with information to call the department’s non-emergency line at 250-475-4321. To make an anonymous report, call the Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.