Fire department burglary hurts DairylandIn the middle of a snowstorm last month, someone broke into a Dairyland Volunteer Fire Department building and stole items worth thousands of dollars. The theft didn’t just affect the fire department.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
In the middle of a snowstorm last month, someone broke into a Dairyland Volunteer Fire Department building and stole items worth thousands of dollars. The theft didn’t just affect the fire department.
“It hurts the community,” said Dairyland Fire Chief Mike Knutson Wednesday in Barnes, where he and five other members of the department were helping protect homes in the path of the wildfire.
The incident took place between 11 p.m. April 22 and 1 a.m. April 23. The thieves took fire gear, saws, medical supplies, air tanks, a gas detector and more from the fire department’s satellite station at 16567 S. North Road. They also cut radios out of two trucks, putting both vehicles out of commission.
According to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department report, more than $44,000 worth of items were stolen. The burglary didn’t cripple the department, which has 11 members and responds to about 40 calls a year.
“We have enough resources, we have enough mutual aid — that’s not a problem,” Knutson said. “But it’s the principle. To steal the stuff from the fire department, vandalize it …”
For the chief, it’s a case of déjà vu. A similar incident occurred in Dairyland about 11 years ago, according to Knutson. The culprits were never caught.
Two gloves, a blue baseball cap and some cigarette butts were found at the site following the April 23 burglary. Once the snow melted, deputies were able to get impressions from vehicle tracks outside the building, which appeared to have been made by a shorter Blazer or Jeep-type vehicle. Anyone with information on the burglary is asked to call 911 or Sgt. Richard Schnell with the sheriff’s department, 715-395-1371.