Stolen BC search and rescue truck recovered, team says

A truck stolen from a search and rescue team in Williams Lake, BC last weekend has been found, but it could still be some time before it returns to service.

Central Cariboo Search and Rescue confirmed Saturday that the 2020 Dodge Ram 5500 emergency vehicle had been recovered by RCMP, and a spokesperson told CTV News it remains in police possession for the time being.

Team member Debra Bortolussi said search and rescue crews are not sure what condition the truck was found in, nor whether the valuable equipment that was inside it when it was taken is still there.

Still, volunteers are “super thankful” that the truck has been recovered, Bortolussi said.

She said crews have responded to four motor vehicle accident calls in their backup vehicle since the primary truck was stolen, and they’re thankful that the weather has been good and there haven’t been any instances of simultaneous calls.

The police investigation is ongoing, and Bortolussi said it’s not clear when the search and rescue team will get the truck back.

In the meantime, if there are multiple calls for service at the same time within CCSAR’s vast coverage area, the group will need to rely on help from other agencies to meet the demand, she said.

News of the recovery of the Central Cariboo truck comes just hours after another group of first responders in the region reported the theft of one of their vehicles.

Interlakes Volunteer Fire Department posted on Facebook Saturday that one of its fire halls had been broken into and a new truck was stolen.

The department is asking anyone who sees the missing vehicle to contact police.

Bortolussi said her team was disappointed to see another group affected by the same type of crime.

“All of us, our hearts were just in our stomachs when we saw that,” Bortolussi said. “We know how disheartening that is.”

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