Orlando police officers are trying to track down thieves who stole from a Boy Scout troop. The troop leader said the crooks got away with all their camping equipment.
Dan Ford said the Boy Scouts from First Baptist Church Troop 40 kept their camping gear stored in a trailer. "We thought this was a safe place for the trailer to be with the fencing and everything," he said of the secure area owned by First Baptist Church.
Ford thinks the burglars hopped over a fence. "You can see some of the metal fence poles have been bent where they've been pulled down."
Equipment like tents, stoves and lanterns were taken away from the boys who range from 11 to 18 years in age. "I think it's pretty sad when you get to the point you have to steal something from kids," said Ford.
He believes the thieves then threw the equipment over the side of the fence and dragged it away. You can see pieces of glass from one of the lanterns right on the ground.
The troop leader thinks they used one of their wagons to get away with the goods. "When the security guard saw him do his rounds they saw him coming in and that's when they took off."
Ford said the boys will have to go back and raise money donations to replace the equipment. "They're going to be upset, because this is $1,000 worth of equipment that they're going to have to earn." But he added that this will be just another lesson in life that the kids will have to learn. "We teach our boys this type of thing happens in life, and so we've got to be positive about it and move forward about it, and that's what we're going to do."
Anyone who saw the thieves pulling a wagon full of camping equipment along John Young Parkway on Wednesday morning is asked to call Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS (8477).
Anyone interested in helping Troop 40 is asked to send donations to First Baptist Church of Orlando/Troop 40, 3000 S. John Young Parkway, Orlando, FL 32805.