Boy Scouts hopeful stolen trailer will be returned
Boy Scout Troop 172's trailer was reported stolen from the Twin Falls United Methodist Church in Munroe Falls on Monday but the trailer is believed to have been taken some time between March 10 and March 14.
When not in use, the trailer, which contains all of the troop's camping gear, has been parked in the church lot for about a decade without incident, Scoutmaster Jeff Kline said. Kline estimates that the trailer and all of its contents are worth about $10,000.
The church does not have exterior security cameras, and Munroe Falls Police have not been able to locate any nearby cameras. As of Tuesday, they had no leads.
Munroe Falls Officer Tiffany Shipley, who took the report Monday night, said that a similar theft, involving a Boy Scout trailer stolen from parking lot, occurred in Kent on March 2.
"I did call the Great Trail Council, who oversees Scouting in the area, to alert them and tell them to secure the trailers somewhere safe. They've been informed, and they're putting out information to all the local Scout troops," Shipley said.
Shipley also contacted police departments in Stow, Cuyahoga Falls and Tallmadge, and those departments have not had similar thefts.
The Munroe Falls trailer was secured with two locks, both of which were cut off, and a yellow tire boot that was not removed.
"You can tell they didn't take the boot off because there's a drag mark into the street and you can tell the vehicle and trailer turned left out of the Twin Falls Church," Kline said.
Shipley added that the skid marks continued up North River Road to Hiwood Avenue, at which point the tracks are no longer visible.
Residents of North River and Hiwood who saw or heard any suspicious activity or loud noises are asked to contact the police department at 330-688-7494 and ask for Shipley.
Shipley added that people should be on the lookout for a white enclosed trailer without a license plate and for anyone selling camp gear — including pots and pans, dishwashing equipment, propane tanks, tents, coolers and stoves — and they can contact their local police departments with the information.
Parishioners noticed the trailer was missing on Friday, March 12, but Pastor Jim Lewis said they believed that the troop had taken it on a camping weekend. On Monday, Scout leaders were at the church for their weekly meeting and realized it had been stolen.
Kline is hopeful that the trailer will be returned, but is starting to research the cost of replacing all of the gear.
The troop has started a GoFundMe page, https://gofund.me/142c2262.
Troop 172, consisting of 23 Scouts ages 10 to 16, have a camping trip planned for March 26. Troops in Stow have already offered to loan out their equipment if Munroe Falls' trailer is not returned by then.
Reporter Krista S. Kano can be reached at 330-541-9416, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @KristaKanoABJ.