Oliver & Osoyoos  

Oliver RCMP recover roughly $10K in gear stolen from Willowbrook Volunteer Fire Department

Stolen fire gear recovered

After a devastating theft from the Willowbrook Volunteer Fire Department this week, police are happy to report that thanks to help from the public, expensive equipment has been returned to its rightful home.

The break-in had occured sometime overnight on Tuesday to Wednesday.

A firefighter trailer, parked outside the Willowbrook fire hall, was broken into, and essential firefighting equipment stolen, including two Honda pumps, each valued at $800, and a Waterax Mark 3 water pump, valued at $8,500, all of which had been fundraised for over years.

RCMP in Oliver followed up on several tips from the public and carried out enquiries.

A frontline officer conducted a traffic stop on Road 15, which then led them to the stolen pumps, which were clearly labeled with "WVFD."

The 55-year-old Oliver man who was driving the vehicle was arrested, then released at the scene with a date to appear in Penticton Provincial Court on Dec. 13.

“This is a great result to be able to recover these important tools for the fire department,” said Sgt. Don Wrigglesworth, detachment commander.

“This volunteer group would have been greatly affected by this loss in being able to provide the level of service and safety to the community. Some people have zero moral compass or conscience, especially to commit such an act during our active fire season.”

Oliver RCMP extends gratitude to the public for their assistance in this matter. Residents are encouraged to continue to report suspicious activities.

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