Saturday, July 31, 2010
Volunteers at Redmond's Overlake Christian Church are scrambling to replace and pack more than a ton of kids' camping supplies, worth more than $50,000.
Camping supplies owned by the church were packed in a white Penske rental truck and stolen out of the church parking lot late Wednesday night. Also in the truck was electronics and kitchen equipment.
“It was actually blocked in with two big fridges in the back just jammed full of stuff, ready to go to Wenatchee," said youth minister Bob Lee.
The burglars also stole a BMW parked nearby, broke into a trailer and tried to steal a SUV that belongs to the church, Lee said. “At first I thought it was a prank, but our whole camp in a big box was gone," Lee said.
Pastor Jake Goetze said within hours other churches donated supplies and his church spent thousands of dollars to buy dozens of tents and supplies so that the kids would not be let down. Goetze said he has no hard feelings toward the thieves. “We forgive them already. I mean that's without question," Goetze said. He just wants his gear back.
While police are searching for the truck and the thieves, Friday’s camping trip will go on. “Students are arriving here at the same time, same place; they won't even know. It'll be seamless and it's a beautiful thing," Lee said.
Police are looking for two vehicles: a 2006 white Penske freightliner 24-foot box moving truck with license plate B01592A and a 1985 black BMW 535i Sedan with license plate 431 WPG. Anyone with information about these vehicles should call 911 immediately.
Source: Jim Bove, Redmond Police / KIRO