This website is best viewed with CSS and JavaScript enabled, alternatively you can use the low bandwidth version.

Church House examines security after computers, money go missing

Posted on: August 7, 2001 4:06 PM
Related Categories: Canada

National office copes with two break-ins in as many days

Leanne Larmondin
Web site Manager

[Toronto] General Synod staff spent a day sweeping broken glass, taking inventory, straightening offices and changing the locks after break-ins on two consecutive nights at their downtown Toronto office.

The most recent break-in, and the most serious, took place just after midnight, July 31, when parts of the first floor of Church House were vandalized. The lobby at 600 Jarvis St. was ransacked and the computer support office was broken into and trashed. Several computers and other pieces of hardware were damaged or stolen; Mariana Bell, head of information technology at the national office, estimated the cost of the vandalism and theft at about $28,000, which included three stolen laptops, valued at $3,000 each, and a damaged computer server, worth $8,000.

The Anglican Book Centre, a retail store in the national office selling books and church supplies, was also broken into. ABC manager Dan Benson said it appeared the thief was looking for the store's cash drawers, which had been hidden in a different location since a break-in the day before.

In that theft, a tempered glass door in the lobby was broken and about $650 was stolen from the store's cash drawers. The bookstore itself was not broken into in the first theft, suggesting that a key had been used, said Mr. Benson.

Jim Cullen, director of financial management and development, estimated the cost of replacing the four broken glass doors throughout the first floor at about $4,800. He also called in locksmiths to change the locks on the outside doors to the building, particularly the first door at the office lobby which did not have a deadbolt, but rather, only a latch.

In a memo to Church House staff, Mr. Cullen wrote that office management was "investigating all steps necessary to secure full security of the (Anglican Church of Canada) building" which might include a new alarm system or pass code system. Until the new security system is in place, he added, a security service will guard the building during off hours.

Police officers first on the scene said it appeared the same person committed both break-ins, said Mr. Benson.