Tuesday, September 26, 2006

[Crime] Scrap metal thieves steal from volunteers

Bruce Bjerke, K7BHB, and the Emergency Coordinator for West Lane county's amateur radio volunteer emergency responders, reports:
Herman Peak was burglarized last night. West Lane ARES/RACES lost our two meter and 220 MHz packet nodes (Ed. note: These are automated systems, radio transmitter-receiver-computer combinations which receive weak digital signals, then rebroadcast them at high power over large areas), and Central Lincoln PUD lost about $15,000 of gear and had the doors on their building beat to bloody hell.

Our flush lock-less, hinge-less inner steel door worked as planned, and their typical entry attempt was foiled...so they went up on the roof, ripped of a roof ventilator, then pried up the plank roof until they had a big enough hole to climb through.

Thought you might all want to know so you can take whatever steps can be taken now that we know there is a new group running around our mountaintops.
Volunteers assembled the cash, bought the gear, refurbished it, programmed it, tested it, installed up on a mountain at 2,200', and kept it running, just so folks who need emergency communications and tracking of emergency volunteers would have a connection to the world if needed.

This is reminiscent of incidents in Portland (see item 8) of copper and scrap metal theft. Does a state law to require verification for scrap metal sellers need enacting?

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