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Waterloo Regional Police launch annual backpack challenge

Waterloo Regional Police are again challenging the community to take part in its fourth annual backpack challenge, which encourages residents to purchase new backpacks, lunch bags, school supplies, or gift cards to be donated to children and families in need.

Given the ongoing pandemic situation, police are also encouraging donations of cloth masks so children can return safely to school this fall.

More than 5,000 backpacks have been collected during the past three years, along with thousands of dollars in gift cards and school supplies. They have been donated to youth organizations and children in Waterloo Region to ensure they have an exciting back-to-school experience, police said in a release.

“This year, much like last year, has been exceptionally challenging for many of us,” said Chief Bryan Larkin. “With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we want to ensure that every child in Waterloo Region goes back to school feeling confident, excited, and safe. Together, we can make a difference.”

The backpack challenge will run until August 27. All donations will be delivered to community organizations throughout Waterloo Region.

Donations can be dropped off at designated spots at police headquarters, located at 200 Maple Grove Rd. in Cambridge, or at any police division: North Division, 45 Columbia St. E., Waterloo; Central Division, 134 Frederick St., Kitchener; South Division, 176 Hespeler Rd., Cambridge or Rural Division, 13 Industrial Dr., Elmira.

If you would like to arrange a date to drop off a donation or if you would like more information, contact publicinfo@wrps.on.ca.


7:00 AM | One person was charged after a single-vehicle collision sends two passengers to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The Perth County OPP, Perth County Paramedic Services, and the Perth East Fire Department responded to the scene on Line 39, in the Township of Perth East. Two adult passengers were taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. One other passenger and the driver were not injured. A 25-year-old Kitchener man was charged with ‘careless driving.’


2:55 AM | Waterloo Regional Police responded to a report of a break-in at a gas station on King Street North in St. Jacobs. Through the initial investigation, police determined that the suspects arrived at the gas station around 2:40 a.m. and used a stolen Chevrolet pickup truck to force entry into the business. The suspects attempted to steal the automated teller machine (ATM) within the business but were unsuccessful. The suspects then fled the area with an undisclosed amount of cash.  The stolen pickup truck was later located ablaze in the area of Weber Street North and Apple Grove Road in St. Jacobs. The investigation is ongoing by members of the Waterloo Regional Police Service’s Break, Enter and Vehicle Theft Team. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 519-570-9777 or 1-800-222-8477. 

10:40 AM | Police responded to a business on Farmers Market Road in south of St. Jacobs for a report of a male exposing himself. The suspect has been described as male, white, 30-40 years old, wearing beige cargo shorts, a black or brown shirt, white socks, black shoes, and black sunglasses. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact police at 519-570-9777.

July 20

Emergency crews responded Tuesday afternoon to the intersection of Arthur and Union streets in Elmira following a three-vehicle collision that caused major damage. The incident remains under investigation. [Alex Filipe]

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