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B.C. SAR team’s truck, tools stolen in Cariboo

‘Who would take life-saving tools’: Williams Lake RCMP investigate the overnight theft
A Central Cariboo Search and Rescue truck was stolen overnight from inside the SAR team’s hall in Williams Lake. Pictured above, CCSAR members drove the new truck in a salute to health care workers past Cariboo Memorial Hospital in September 2021. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Anger, shock and disbelief. Those are just some of the feelings Chief Rick White of the Central Cariboo Search and Rescue (CCSAR) has as Williams Lake RCMP investigate the overnight theft of CCSAR’s brand new emergency response truck and tools.

“I couldn’t believe that someone would do that,” said White Sunday morning (April 3). “Who would take life-saving tools. I just can’t comprehend what they’ve done to the community.”

White said a CCSAR member was headed home from working a night shift at the local mill at about 7 a.m. Sunday and noticed the bay door open and the new truck missing from the CCSAR hall on MacKenzie Avenue in Williams Lake.

The truck is a distinctive, fire engine red-coloured 2021 Dodge Ram 5500 rescue truck recently purchased for CCSAR valued at approximately $190,000. Hydraulic extrication tools and other tools and items taken along with the truck and from another truck parked at the hall is estimated to be worth another $200,000.

“We have the bare minimum tools now - just enough for one accident scene.”

As everyone started hearing the news Sunday morning, White said the Horsefly Volunteer Fire Department offered CCSARS the use of their tools as needed.

“That is so awesome of them.”

White said it is believed the culprit or culprits smashed a window at about 1 a.m. to gain access to the rescue hall.

The new truck was something CCSAR had been saving and planning for, for a long time and replaced the crew’s 20-year-old response truck.

Williams Lake RCMP are requesting assistance from the public in locating the truck, with a B.C. license plate of RH7960.

“This emergency vehicle represents a significant investment in the safety of the community,” said RCMP Cpl. Shane Nicoll, Williams Lake RCMP. “We are asking that everyone look out for the search and rescue truck and, if seen, report it to police immediately.”

Anyone that locates the vehicle is not to approach it and should call 911 or the Williams Lake RCMP at (250) 392-6211. Alternatively, should you wish to remain anonymous, you can report the location of the truck to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

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