The Port Angeles Police Department is investigating after someone stole more than $20,000 worth of search and rescue equipment from the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office.
Staff Sgt. John Keegan said the theft means that it will be much more difficult for officials to conduct a search and rescue operation until equipment can be repaired and replaced.
“That’s going to limit our service to these people and we have to do everything by hand, which is not easy and safe,” he said.
“This is equipment designed to go out there and help people.”
Sometime between 4:15 p.m. Monday, Nov. 26, and 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 27, a hole was cut into a fence surrounding the Clallam County Search and Rescue Team’s storage yard.
Among the many items stolen is a blue 2000 Yamaha quad, a red Honda 2001 generator/inverter, a yellow Solar Operations Solutions solar generator, a large black nylon case embroidered with “Blue Sky Mast” and many other items including batteries and electronics.
Keegan said batteries were stolen from quads and vehicles were tampered with.
Repairing and replacing equipment requires certain approvals, he said.
“When people in our department are going through that process, what we’re not doing is the other parts of our jobs because we’re having to deal with this issue,” Keegan said.
The case is being handled by the Port Angeles Police Department.
Deputy Chief Jason Viada said it is an “open and active” investigation and would not comment on the case.
Anyone with information is urged to call dispatch at 360-417-2459, the Port Angeles Police Department at 360-452-4545 or leave an anonymous tip at: websrv7.clallam.net/cnmaster-c/nwformeml.php.
Jesse Major is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. He can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at jmajor@peninsula dailynews.com.