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Burglar steals camping equipment from Boy Scouts

November 19, 2012 | 10:59 am

Greg Hill maneuvered through the cramped Boy Scouts storage trailer on Gothard Street in Huntington Beach and tried to get inside the mind of a burglar.

"I would have taken the wood," Hill, the scoutmaster of Troop 555, said Friday afternoon, tapping a stack of tent poles jutting out to the double doors. "I would at least have a campfire."

The storage unit, which has resided for years in the parking lot of an office complex, recently had more than a dozen pieces of equipment stolen from it overnight. Judging from the evidence, Hill guessed that it was a fast job.

A pair of brand-new tents had been left behind, as had other items that were heavy or tied down. What had disappeared, Hill and quartermaster Mickey Capuano could at least inventory: two stoves, two plastic patrol boxes, two E-Z Up shelters, four lanterns and 11 tents.

The cost for that? About $1,700.

Troop 555, composed of 37 boys from Huntington Beach and Fountain Valley, used to keep its 12-foot white trailer tucked at the back of the parking lot on Gothard, but when vandals tried to break into it at least once with a crowbar, the troop leaders moved it closer to the street to give it more visibility.

That didn't deter the recent burglary, though. On the morning of Nov. 3, according to Hill, a tenant in the complex found the trailer's doors wide open and the lock missing.

Lt. Mitch O'Brien of the Huntington Beach Police Department said detectives have no leads on the case.

The theft was frustrating for another reason: Troop 555 had just done a fundraiser in the spring to pay for new cooking equipment, and those funds will now likely go to replace the lost items.

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-- Michael Miller, Times Community News

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