Over the weekend, the Peter McKee Community Food Centre in Moncton was broken into and five laptop computers were taken.

Those in charge of the food bank say they are shocked that anyone would commit such a crime.

Food bank manager Ben MacMichael had just arrived to the food bank Sunday with his wife to plant some vegetables.

“That's when I noticed there was a mess everywhere and we had some missing laptops,” says MacMichael.

Scissors used to pry open doors were left on the floor. Access to the building was gained through side doors sometime between 4:00 p.m. Saturday and 10:00 a.m. Sunday. There are no security cameras in the building.

“Right now, we haven't, because we've put all our resources towards the kitchen and towards food and now this kind of shows the priority for security,” says MacMichael.

The five laptops were worth almost $1,000 each. The computers were used by staff to access food bank clients; the personal information was stored in a cloud based server and is only accessible with a password.

“Our main goal here is to help people and the individual or individuals, who did this obviously need some help, and we are hoping they do get that help,” says food bank volunteer Don Lutes.

An adjoining thrift store also was broken into the same night.

“They broke into the office of the boutique coordinator, they opened the drawers and so on, but we think they didn't get anything,” says House of Nazareth executive director Deo Cuma.

The food bank theft has left many people surprised and disappointed.

“I think they'd have to be pretty desperate to go to that level,” says Moncton resident John Lawrence. “Maybe not as bad as robbing a church, but I think pretty much in the same category as that. It’s really unfortunate.”

MacMichael received word Monday afternoon that the Anglican Diocese of New Brunswick offered a $5,000 cheque to help cover the replacement cost of the stolen laptops.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Jonathan MacInnis.