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Thieves take 90 percent of Boy Scouts' gear

Mechanic finds troop's trailer in Mission Bay

The patrol boxes were the biggest disappointment when stolen.
The patrol boxes were the biggest disappointment when stolen.

Even though a scout's motto is to "Be Prepared," two local troops were caught unaware when their trailers were stolen this month. Troops from Vista and University City discovered their trailers missing within ten days of each other. While the latter had thousands of dollars worth of camping gear in their trailer when it was stolen, Vista's troop did not because they've had to deal with vandalism in the past; they stored their gear in a shipping container.

One scout leader who's a mechanic in Ocean Beach, took a detour home along East Mission Bay Drive and knew it was their stolen trailer at once.

Boy Scout trailer thefts seem to be trending. Three troops locally and others nationwide have had their trailers stolen in recent months including in California, Utah, Kansas, Michigan, Kentucky, North Carolina, Maryland, and Florida.

A few irreplaceable items like the troop's wood-carved sign were recovered.

University City's Troop 11, whose 49 members live mostly in Clairemont and University City, were lucky in finding their trailer within a week of its disappearance. Albeit sans 90 percent of their gear — a loss of about $9,500.

The troop flag was spared as it was stored inside the church.

The trailer was found by chance, ten miles from the church parking lot, in Mission Bay Park across the street from the Hilton Hotel. Other residents have said to me in the past that Mission Bay and Fiesta Island are favorite place for criminals to stash things.

After their regular Tuesday night meeting on March 6, at the First Baptist Church in University City, Troop 11 boys went to check out camping gear for the following weekend. Gear they stored in a 20-foot-long trailer they've stored in the church parking lot. The chains that went through the trailer hitch were all they found that night.

Surveillance footage showed a car in the church parking lot near the trailer around 3:00 a.m. on March 5. Footage shows that same car back at midnight to steal the trailer.

The camping trip went on as planned with the community pitching in to lend gear needed.

Katie Simas, whose son joined Troop 11 about four years ago, explained part of the aftermath. "One of our scout leaders, that works in Ocean Beach as a mechanic [Doug], was coming home Monday and decided to drive along Mission Bay Drive to avoid traffic. He's one of the few people that could have driven past a plain white trailer and known it was ours. We had a tire blow and a piece of the tire had come up and made a mark on the trailer."

Simas said the troop was grateful to have their trailer back (even though it was damaged) along with the troop's wood-carved sign.

Simas explained the patrol boxes were the biggest disappointment when stolen and the biggest thrill when two were recovered in the stolen trailer. Troop 11 has four patrols (Sharks, Warriors, Vikings, Cobras) within their troop and each has a patrol box.

Simas who describes herself as "not a social media person" started a GoFundMe page a few days after the theft. As of Tuesday night, they had 105 donations totaling $7,455 of the $9,500 goal.

Troop 11 is the second oldest Boy Scout troop in San Diego, founded by the Logan Heights Baptist Church in 1916, shortly after the Boy Scouts of America was founded in 1910. La Jolla's Troop 4 is the oldest, established in 1912.

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The patrol boxes were the biggest disappointment when stolen.
The patrol boxes were the biggest disappointment when stolen.

Even though a scout's motto is to "Be Prepared," two local troops were caught unaware when their trailers were stolen this month. Troops from Vista and University City discovered their trailers missing within ten days of each other. While the latter had thousands of dollars worth of camping gear in their trailer when it was stolen, Vista's troop did not because they've had to deal with vandalism in the past; they stored their gear in a shipping container.

One scout leader who's a mechanic in Ocean Beach, took a detour home along East Mission Bay Drive and knew it was their stolen trailer at once.

Boy Scout trailer thefts seem to be trending. Three troops locally and others nationwide have had their trailers stolen in recent months including in California, Utah, Kansas, Michigan, Kentucky, North Carolina, Maryland, and Florida.

A few irreplaceable items like the troop's wood-carved sign were recovered.

University City's Troop 11, whose 49 members live mostly in Clairemont and University City, were lucky in finding their trailer within a week of its disappearance. Albeit sans 90 percent of their gear — a loss of about $9,500.

The troop flag was spared as it was stored inside the church.

The trailer was found by chance, ten miles from the church parking lot, in Mission Bay Park across the street from the Hilton Hotel. Other residents have said to me in the past that Mission Bay and Fiesta Island are favorite place for criminals to stash things.

After their regular Tuesday night meeting on March 6, at the First Baptist Church in University City, Troop 11 boys went to check out camping gear for the following weekend. Gear they stored in a 20-foot-long trailer they've stored in the church parking lot. The chains that went through the trailer hitch were all they found that night.

Surveillance footage showed a car in the church parking lot near the trailer around 3:00 a.m. on March 5. Footage shows that same car back at midnight to steal the trailer.

The camping trip went on as planned with the community pitching in to lend gear needed.

Katie Simas, whose son joined Troop 11 about four years ago, explained part of the aftermath. "One of our scout leaders, that works in Ocean Beach as a mechanic [Doug], was coming home Monday and decided to drive along Mission Bay Drive to avoid traffic. He's one of the few people that could have driven past a plain white trailer and known it was ours. We had a tire blow and a piece of the tire had come up and made a mark on the trailer."

Simas said the troop was grateful to have their trailer back (even though it was damaged) along with the troop's wood-carved sign.

Simas explained the patrol boxes were the biggest disappointment when stolen and the biggest thrill when two were recovered in the stolen trailer. Troop 11 has four patrols (Sharks, Warriors, Vikings, Cobras) within their troop and each has a patrol box.

Simas who describes herself as "not a social media person" started a GoFundMe page a few days after the theft. As of Tuesday night, they had 105 donations totaling $7,455 of the $9,500 goal.

Troop 11 is the second oldest Boy Scout troop in San Diego, founded by the Logan Heights Baptist Church in 1916, shortly after the Boy Scouts of America was founded in 1910. La Jolla's Troop 4 is the oldest, established in 1912.

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Comments
2

We know all about stolen Boy Scout trailer’s. Go google Dangerous trailers stolen Boy Scout trailer’s

March 23, 2018

You mention that a troop in Vista lost their trailer in the second sentence, then never mention it again. How about finishing the story?

March 25, 2018

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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