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‘It’s a slap in the face,’ Central Okanagan Search and Rescue says of theft

COSAR has had a record number of rescues in recent years. Credit: Central Okanagan Search and Rescue

Members of the Okanagan’s largest search and rescue team are disheartened by a Thursday theft that left them short on supplies.

Central Okanagan Search and Rescue (COSAR) said an oxygen tank and trauma pack, flare packs, two radios and some LED lights were stolen this week from a trailer being outfitted to serve as a West Kelowna gear cache.

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“We were in the process of finishing the outfitting of the trailer in preparation for taking it to a secure, fenced location in West Kelowna when we discovered the break-in,” COSAR president Brad Trites said in a press release.

“The gear can be replaced, but it is really disheartening to the 51 COSAR members who volunteer their time and energy to serve the public. It’s a slap in the face.”

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Security camera footage shows what is believed to be a late model Toyota Tacoma with silver running boards driving behind the hall.

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This is not the first time thieves have targeted the search and rescue group and last year the regional district asked COSAR to prepare a building needs report regarding its hall on Old Vernon Road.

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The losses also come after the busiest stretch for the search group.

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In the past two years, they’ve said COVID19 was behind the increase in outdoor recreationalists, but the team also responded to a record number of urban searches for distraught individuals and missing seniors and children.

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