UPDATE: Less than 24 hours after a theft at Surrey Search and Rescue, the community has stepped up to deliver some Christmas cheer. After the News Hour yesterday, offers of help have been pouring in.
Thieves cut through a chain-link fence over the weekend and stole thousands of dollars worth of life-saving equipment from Surrey Search and Rescue.
“It being Christmas, it hits the team a little harder,” volunteer Cameron Clark said.
The 40-member organization, which covers Surrey, White Rock, Delta and Richmond, will have to raise approximately $5,000 to replace the stolen equipment. The damage to several vehicles is expected to cost another $6,000.
Surrey SAR attends an average of 40 calls a year, such as the search for a Langley quadriplegic man who went missing from his care home in August.
Volunteer Larry Kost discovered the break-in at the Surrey yard Monday morning.
“Let’s hope that right now over Christmas things are quiet,” he said.
WATCH: Surrey SAR targeted by thieves
Over the weekend a 42-year-old man discovered the importance of search-and-rescue equipment on a North Shore mountain. He became lost in dangerous terrain Sunday afternoon, and managed to survive by accessing a cache shelter supplied by North Shore Search and Rescue.
Mike Danks of North Shore Rescue says over the past two years thieves have stolen equipment out of several NSR caches.
“We ask that the public is respectful of them because they’re there for a reason and they provide life-saving equipment,” he said.
In August, Ridge Meadows SAR was targeted by thieves who stole purses and wallets from vehicles after volunteers returned from an overnight search.
Anyone with information about this weekend’s theft is asked to call Surrey RCMP.
Those interested in helping the group fundraise can visit their website.
Meanwhile, Clark has a message for the Grinch who stole their gear.
“I can only hope that the individuals that stole this equipment from us are not the ones that we have to look for through the Christmas break.”
-With files from Julia Foy