N.S. volunteer firefighters rescue stolen porta-potty dumped in the woods
A pilfered potty. A lifted loo. A poached porta-potty.
Whatever you call it, organizers with the Maritime Race Weekend are just happy to have found a missing portable toilet that could have cost them hundreds of dollars to replace.
“It was bizarre,” said organizer Michelle Kempton, when describing the theft.
The annual race in Eastern Passage raises money for local organizations, including children’s sports and breakfast clubs, as well as the local volunteer fire department.
But on the morning of the race on Sept. 15, volunteers discovered that one of the rented portable toilets had been stolen, along with $2,000 worth of steel stakes used to mark the race course.
“The outrage in the community that somebody would do this to the marathon was huge,” Kempton said.
She filed a report with the RCMP and offered a cash reward through Crime Stoppers. Royal Flush, the company that owns the porta-potty, offered to cover a portion of the cost to replace the missing toilet but Kempton says the non-profit organization would still be on the hook for about $1,000.
“We were going to have to replace it and if we replace it, that money would be taken from the donations we make,” she said.
But then, a stroke of luck.
Kempton says a local hunter was going through the woods recently when he came upon the big blue portable toilet sitting on a gravel spot with an ATV track leading up to it.
It was found about a kilometer off the Shearwater Flyer Trail.
“It literally looked like a UFO had dropped a porta-potty deep in the woods,” she said.
According to Kempton, the hunter went home with and told his family about his unusual find. It turns out his wife was a Maritime Race Weekend volunteer, who immediately remembered the story of the pirated potty.
Once Kempton was able to verify the serial number, a plan was immediately hatched to recover the stolen loot.
Within an hour, a group of local volunteer firefighters were on hand.
“They came with their own rope. They were a tactical team, ready to lasso it,” she said.
They were able to pull the porta-potty out of the woods and the organization will be able to return it to Royal Flush. The hunter who originally found the toilet wants to remain anonymous and has asked that his cash reward be given to the local school breakfast programs instead.
“I just feel really fortunate that our event is in Eastern Passage and Cole Harbour because it’s just amazing the community support we get,” Kempton said.
“It renewed my faith in what an awesome community we live in.”
The police report is still open and it’s hoped they will still find the person responsible for stealing the porta-potty.
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