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Suspect arrested in theft of $10K in firefighting equipment from vehicles in Kamloops

Kamloops RCMP say it's 'extremely disheartening' to see people stealing gear needed to fight B.C.'s wildfires. (Shutterstock / Yevhen Prozhyrko - image credit)
Kamloops RCMP say it's 'extremely disheartening' to see people stealing gear needed to fight B.C.'s wildfires. (Shutterstock / Yevhen Prozhyrko - image credit)

One young person has been arrested after an estimated $10,000 worth of equipment for fighting wildfires was stolen in Kamloops, B.C., according to RCMP.

Some of the equipment, which includes a medic kit and a defibrillator, was taken Tuesday at around 2:35 a.m. from two vehicles parked in the 1400-block of Hugh Allan Drive, a police press release says. A similar theft of wildfire gear was reported a day earlier in the same location.

"The items stolen were directly related to local wildfire response," RCMP Supt. Jeff Pelley said in the release.

"It is extremely disheartening to see these crimes occurring and potentially hampering the efforts of those who are trying to protect life and property in extremely dangerous and volatile environments."

Investigators say a black truck was connected to both thefts. A vehicle matching that description was spotted later Tuesday morning in connection with yet another theft in progress, and officers managed to arrive in time to confront the suspects.

A youth who is known to police was found inside the truck, along with a pellet rifle and some of the missing wildfire gear, according to the RCMP. He was arrested for possession of stolen property.

Two other male suspects allegedly fled the scene before police arrived. According to investigators, the truck involved in the thefts had also been reported stolen from Kamloops.

The suspect has since been released from custody while Mounties continue their investigation, and they're asking anyone with information to come forward.

"We will be working proactively with our partners and the public to ensure that those found responsible for any thefts affecting the ability of firefighters on the front lines are held to full account, with zero tolerance displayed for such senseless criminal acts," Pelley said.