Gear worth thousands stolen from Merritt search and rescue team

Gear worth thousands stolen from Merritt search and rescue team

Thieves broke into a storage facility twice in two days to steal gear

Gear worth thousands of dollars has been stolen from a search and rescue team in British Columbia’s southern Interior after thieves broke into a storage facility twice in two days.

Nicola Valley Search and Rescue president Saxon Peters says the break-ins occurred Friday and Saturday at a compound near the Merritt airport.

A post on the team’s Facebook page says personal flotation devices, search and rescue jackets, a computer and television were among the items taken, and most were found Sunday in a nearby ditch.

But Peters says other equipment worth more than $8,000 is still missing.

RELATED: Crash on Highway 97 C, emergency crews called in

The break-ins also knocked the group’s command vehicle out of commission while the RCMP investigation was underway and missing items from the truck were replaced.

Peters says he can’t understand why anyone would target a search and rescue organization.

“We rely on this equipment to help other people and why someone would steal from us is beyond me,” he says.

The search group says the thieves appear to have been sorting through rescue gear and packing up selected items when they were scared off Friday night, but returned late Saturday to finish the job.

RELATED: Central Okanagan Search and Rescue out for Halloween

Investigators want to speak to anyone who may have seen suspicious people or vehicles around the Merritt airport last weekend.

The Canadian Press

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