Thieves steal camping equipment, flags from Boy Scouts

REDMOND, Wash. -- The Boy Scout motto is "be prepared," but no amount of preparation could help a local scout troop get ready for what happened last week.

Redmond Boy Scout Troop 575 arrived at their storage trailer Friday afternoon to find it had been stolen from a church parking lot, scout leaders said. The troop had been storing camping gear, equipment, patrol flags, and more inside their gray trailer parked at Timberlake Church, 4505 236th Avenue NE in Redmond.

"We were on the way to go camping, so the first thought was, 'okay, how are we going to solve this problem?'" said David Guyer, scoutmaster for the troop. "The disappointment started to set in of, 'wow this is going to be some work. This is going to affect the boys a little bit."

About 40 boys, ages 11 to 17, are part of the troop. They were scheduled to spend the weekend whitewater rafting in eastern Washington, Guyer added. The group was forced to scrape together gear for cooking and rafting, while deputies searched for the stolen trailer.

"We were able to pull off the trip. It required a lot of scrambling," said Mike Harlan, whose son is among the scouts in troop 575. "The trailer was gone."

Surveillance cameras in the parking lot did not capture the theft on tape, church leaders said.

The church decided Monday to donate $3,000 to the troop to help cover the cost of the stolen items.

"We're just sad and disappointed that this happened," said Jordan Lee, executive pastor of Timberlake Church, in a phone call to scout leaders. "We love having (the scouts) at our church."

The donation will cover part of the cost of the stolen trailer and items, Guyer said.

"I'm floored and really grateful, because that will make a big difference to us," Guyer said. "It's going to really make the kids feel a lot better and it's going to help us out this year for sure."