British Columbia

New search and rescue truck stolen in Williams Lake

A new emergency vehicle was stolen from Central Cariboo Search and Rescue headquarters in Williams Lake, B.C., this weekend, along with valuable equipment.

Truck is valued at $190K, with stolen equipment worth another $200K, chief says

A Central Cariboo Search and Rescue truck was stolen in Williams Lake, B.C., this weekend. (Rick White/Facebook)

UPDATE: Williams Lake RCMP said on Saturday, April 9 2022 that the search and rescue vehicle reported stolen in Williams Lake earlier in April has been recovered. Original story below.

An emergency response truck belonging to a search and rescue team in Williams Lake, B.C., was stolen from its hall this weekend, along with valuable tools. 

Rick White, chief of Central Cariboo Search and Rescue, says a red 2021 Dodge Ram 5500 emergency vehicle was stolen, along with equipment from another truck. The theft was discovered around 7:30 a.m. Sunday.

White said the truck is worth around $190,000, while stolen items such as hydraulic cutters and other extrication tools, are estimated to be worth another $200,000.

"I don't know what their intent is ... with these tools," White told CBC. "They've all got serial numbers and are traceable. It's very odd equipment to sell. You wouldn't want to put it on Facebook."

The search and rescue team spent years saving and planning for the vehicle, which replaced a 20-year-old truck, White said. Getting a new truck could take close to two years given supply chain issues.

"Why would they do this to a community?" White said. "It makes no sense."

Cariboo–Chilcotin MLA Lorne Doerkson said the theft of equipment from first responders, including firefighters battling wildfires in B.C. last summer, puts the public at risk. 

"This is very frustrating," he said. "I don't know where it's been driven from, I don't know where these people are coming from that are stealing this kind of equipment, but certainly this is not for the good of anybody in this community." 

RCMP are investigating. Mounties say anyone who sees the vehicle should not approach it and should call 911 or the Williams Lake RCMP at 250-392-6211.

With files from Jenifer Norwell


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