Springfield Boy Scout Troop recovers stolen trailer; SPD provides theft prevention tips

Published: May. 16, 2022 at 9:47 PM CDT|Updated: May. 16, 2022 at 10:16 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Springfield Police and local Boy Scouts have several ways you can protect your trailers and storage units.

Troop 16 in Springfield had its trailer stolen a little more than a week ago. The group just recovered it after a handful of people reported spotting it in a wooded area in Springfield. Now the group is helping spread the word about being prepared with security.

Troop Committee Chair Aaron Van Amber said he was surprised how quickly the Springfield Police Department and other people around the city spotted the stolen trailer.

“Got a phone call, ‘hey, we found your trailer,’ ” Van Amber described. “So yeah, I was very surprised, very ecstatic.”

While Troop 16′s trailer is now back in the right hands, Van Amber said there is some damage. When the scouts got it, most of the emblems of the troop had been marked out, the tires stripped, and most of their camping gear inside was gone. Van Amber said the stolen items amounted to nearly $10,000.

“We’ve had an outpouring of support from our troops here in our district in the Springfield area,” he said. “Several groups have reached out to check and see what gear we need.”

Police say trailer and storage thefts are common, even from churches or other organizations.

”A lot of times people think it’s on a church parking lot, nobody is going to steal from a church,” Lt. Nelson Kibby with the Springfield Police Department said. “Criminals don’t care. Criminals are going to do what they do. They want something for nothing, and they’re going to take what’s yours if they get an opportunity.”

Lt. Kibby says locks on trailers and the hitch are essential, but where you store it is even more important. He said criminals might use bolt cutters.

”If there is a trailer on a parking lot behind a building and there’s nobody back there watching, it’s an opportunity for a criminal,” he said. “Take the trailer to your house or somewhere somebody is going to be there the whole time or be around a lot.”

Kibby said churches and organizations could do things if they do not have another place to store.

”You put lighting or some sort of camera on that trailer, criminals, they look around before they take the opportunity,” he described. “They’re going to look up, and they’re going to look around to see if there are any lights that are on that trailer, they’re going to see if there are any cameras on the building that are pointing towards that trailer. Anything that you can do for security purposes, cameras, ring cameras, anything, lighting, do it.”

Protective barriers also help, which is exactly what Troop 16 is planning.

”Put some fencing or other barriers around where we kept the trailer,” Van Amber described. “And probably doubling the security, we had before with locks and stuff like that.”

Van Amber said he also recommends documenting every item you store in your trailer or storage unit.

“I was able to get that to police, and hopefully, that will help us potentially recover some of our stolen gear if they try to sell it on Facebook or somewhere like that,” he said.

Troop 16 is working to figure out which stolen items are insured. In the meantime, other scouts and donors are helping restock their trailer.

”And then slowly build back piece by piece,” Van Amber said.

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