MEDFORD, Ore. -- A boy scout troop in Medford is looking for its stolen fundraising trailer.
On Saturday, the troops volunteered to clean up after the Pear Blossom parade. While they were gone, one of their trailers was stolen at the Eastwood Baptist Church. The trailer was filled with about $4,500 worth of stuff, including a commercial sized griddle they use to make food at their events.
It was emotional Monday night at the meeting of troop 5's boy scout meeting. Mark Lillich, Troop 5 Scout Master, had to tell the boys the bad news. While the scouts were helping others this weekend, crooks helped themselves.
"They were giving to the community while someone was taking from them," Lillich told NewsWatch12.
He gathered the boys in a circle and tried to break the news softly.
"We're not going to let this beat us guys," Lillich said.
Most of the boys were shocked.
"Yeah it was just kind of like really? Why would somebody do that?" AJ Norris, Troop 5 Assistant Senior Patrol Leader, said he's been a part of Troop 5 for more than 6 years and he's never seen anything like this happen before.
Most of the equipment inside the trailer is used at the troops' fundraising events. The fundraisers are held to help raise money to provide the boys with uniforms, adventures and camping trips. Without the equipment though, the boys won't be able to host their events.
"So we are kind of starting back from step one, with the new materials we are going to have to get," Randall Ridge. Troop 5 Senior Patrol Leader, said.
Lillich says they were gone for about five hours, walking through the Pear Blossom Parade and then staying afterwards to clean up the streets. In that time, someone came to the Eastwood Baptist Church where the troops' trailers are parked, cut the lock off the trailer and drove off with it.
"If they didn't know they were stealing from the boy scouts, they were stealing from a church, so that's worse," Ridge said.
The boys are hoping they can raise enough money to replace the equipment before Father's Day weekend in June. That's when they have an annual concession stand at the Medford Cruise.
Norris said, "That's all we really can do, just try to raise the money and purchase the new equipment."
Lillich is trying to focus on the positives too and is using this as a teaching opportunity for the boys.
"That's what scouting is all about," he said. "I'm trying to teach these boys values."