POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. (KFVS) - Several items were taken from a vehicle used by Southeast Missouri Search and Rescue.
“I mean I just can’t express the importance of the equipment that we have,” Dan St. Lawrence, Southeast Missouri search and rescue, president.
St. Lawrence is talking about all the equipment stolen out of their mobile command center.
“You know they didn’t want an orange safety vest; they wanted the good stuff. Just the radio equipment alone is probably up to a thousand dollars plus,” he said.
St. Lawrence said the thief nearly emptied the entire truck, stealing four Garmin 64st, five baofeng uv5r radios, four charges, four steam light waypoint - yellow and back, a fuse block, a laptop, first aid equipment, a dog first air kit, a hand held CB radio, three boxes of MRE and miscellaneous flashlights.
“It’s just devastating to the team. Our team is a volunteer based, we don’t get any funding from anyone expect for the fundraisers and it took us a long time to get the equipment,” he said.
And making matters worse, St. Lawrence said it’s not clear when the break in happened. His group did not meet in January, so no one’s checked inside the old ambulance since December.
“The unit was parked on south Broadway at our search and rescue building and we don’t know, I’ve went around to other businesses and see if they can find anything on their cameras, but I haven’t heard anything back yet,” he said.
In the meantime, St. Lawrence has a message for the person or persons responsible.
“Just think if it was your child or your mom or your grandma that wondered off and you needed us to get out there and search for them. You just really diminished our ability to try and be efficient and from behalf of our team we would like to thank you for that.”
The center was given to the group less than a year ago by Butler County EMS.
SEMO Search and Rescue is a non-profit organization.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Poplar Bluff Police Department.