The volunteer fire department in Bouctouche, N.B., is appealing for the return of life-saving gear stolen from their fire hall this weekend.
RCMP say the break-in happened sometime on the evening of Nov. 3 and the early hours of Nov. 4 at the fire hall on Irving Boulevard.
According to a Facebook post from the fire department, the thieves took a 3/4-ton truck, two sets of jaws-of-life equipment, and three power saws.
Chief Marcel LeBlanc tells Global News the truck was discovered in Shediac Bridge, about 20 minutes outside of Bouctouche, on Saturday and is in “good shape.”
However, all the gear is still missing, and is the loss is estimated to be at least $50,000.
“We want our stuff back,” said LeBlanc.
“Especially with the highway just a kilometre from here with all the traffic. It’s a one-lane highway. We need a set of jaws (-of-life) if something happens.”
LeBlanc says the thieves broke the glass to the garage door to gain entry, then loaded up the department’s truck with the equipment.
The Facebook post about the theft has been shared over 2,200 times, prompting community members to join and implore for the gear’s return.
Troy Matchett, the senior pastor at Grace Church in Bouctouche, is inviting whoever took the gear to return it at the church.
“This could be needed at any moment, it could even be needed for you or your family,” Matchett wrote in his appeal on Facebook. “Drop it back at the fire department or at Église de la Grâce/Grace Church at the front or back door, we will find it and return it.”
Matchett told Global News the theft has sparked an outcry in the town, and he believes those who took the gear have already seen the online appeals.
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“My message would be everyone makes bad decisions and this is a chance to take a bad decision and make it into a good decision and return it for this community and for the people that are going to need this,” he said.
According to the RCMP, the stolen equipment is specifically made to be used by fire departments and all the gear have the letters “BFD” spray-painted on them.
Anyone with information about the theft is asked to call the Southeast District RCMP at 506-523-4611 or to submit a tip anonymously through Crime Stoppers.