Kamloops Mounties have recovered some firefighting equipment and are looking for more, following theft reports that led to an arrest in the city on Tuesday, Aug. 22.
At about 2:35 a.m. that day, police were called to a theft in progress in the 1400-block of Hugh Allan Drive in Aberdeen, where approximately $10,000 worth of firefighting equipment, an automatic external defibrillator and a medic kit were stolen from two parked vehicles. The theft followed an Aug. 21 report at the same location, in which wildfire gear and equipment were also stolen. In both investigations, police said, a black truck was seen in connection with the thefts.
On Tuesday at about 4:40 a.m., officers responded to another theft-in-progress call in the 100-block of Vernon Avenue in North Kamloops, which included a truck matching the same description as the vehicle seen at the Aberdeen crimes.
Officers attended and found truck, which turned out to be reported as stolen from Kamloops. A youth known to police was inside and arrested for possession of stolen property. Two other men fled on foot before officers arrived.
Police say a pellet rifle, the stolen medic bag and automatic external defibrillator and a bag with wildfire gear from the Aug. 21 theft in Aberdeen were found in the truck.
The youth was released, pending the outcome of the investigation, which includes the assistance of the Kamloops RCMP forensic identification unit.
“The items stolen were directly related to local wildfire response,” Kamloops RCMP Supt. Jeff Pelley said in a release.
“It is extremely disheartening to see these crimes occurring and potentially hampering the efforts of those who are trying to protect life and property in extremely dangerous and volatile environments. We will be working proactively with our partners and the public to ensure that those found responsible for any thefts affecting the ability of firefighters on the frontlines are held to full account, with zero tolerance displayed for such senseless criminal acts.”
Anyone with information about thee thefts, or any others that may be related, is asked to call Kamloops RCMP at 250-828-3000.