One man was arrested for allegedly stealing pumps from the Willowbrook Fire Department.
The 55-year-old Oliver resident was pulled over in a traffic stop on Road 15 by Oliver RCMP on Sept. 20, which found the clearly marked pumps in the vehicle.
“This is a great result to be able to recover these important tools for the fire department,” said Sgt. Don Wrigglesworth, Oliver 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.”
The three pumps were worth around $10,000 and had been stored in the department’s structural protection trailer. That trailer had been most recently used in helping protect the community and those nearby from the Upper Park Rill wildfire.
The Willowbrook Fire Department took to social media earlier that day to call for the public’s assistance and RCMP in Oliver followed up on several tips before the traffic stop.
The man who was arrested was released at the scene and is set to appear in Penticton Provincial Court on Dec. 13, 2023.
“A huge thank you from the WVFD to the RCMP for a job very well done,” the department posted in an update to social media.
A specially equipped toolbox was also taken, worth about $1,000, and was not recovered. The trailer also still requires replacements for the drilled-out locks.
Oliver RCMP says it extends its gratitude to the public for their assistance in recovering the stolen pumps and continues to encourage residents to report suspicious activities.