Cowichan TOPS pleads for return of pins stolen from hall

A long-running weight-loss organization in the Cowichan Valley is pleading for the return of several pins and charms that were stolen from the Somenos Hall recently.

The items belonging to TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) were in a red tackle box that was swiped from a storage room at the hall on Highway 18.

While the pins and charms have no value to whoever took them, they are used to mark weight-loss milestones for TOPS participants.

"They have no commercial value, but they are invaluable to the ladies who are trying to lose weight," spokesperson Sandra Nagy said. "They are an incentive to be healthy and lose weight."

There are a variety of designs to the pins.

"Some of them have ‘TOPS’ written on them, and some are just nice, attractive pins," Nagy said.

According to Nagy, the culprit or culprits removed a window and climbed into the hall’s back storage room where they removed the tackle box, as well as some crowns and sashes belonging to the group.

Nagy isn’t sure if anything else belonging to other hall users was taken.

TOPS doesn’t have a lot of financial resources to draw from, so it will be difficult to replace the pins. Members pay $32 a year to the international organization, as well as $4 a month to their local chapter.

"We’re a very small organization money-wise," Nagy said.

The police have been alerted to the theft, and Nagy has told pawn shops, second-hand stores and antique dealers to keep any eye out.

"No questions [if they are returned]," she said. "It’s on your conscience, but please bring them back."