Wichita police are investigating after a Boy Scout troop leader reported the troop’s trailer had been stolen.
“We had all kinds of tents, everything you need in there, stoves, lanterns, sleeping bags,” said Troop 807 Webelos Scout Leader David Kelso.
Kelso works with about 20 fifth and sixth graders.
“Getting the kids out camping, having fun with them. It’s just a blast,” he said.
Kelso said the trailer was parked next to his home in south Wichita. It had a tongue lock and padlocks on all the doors.
“I left for work Friday morning around 7:15, 7:20 in the morning, came back around 3, 3:30 p.m. and it was gone,” Kelso said.
He said he immediately reported the theft to police. However, there are no leads at this time, leaving the troop out thousands of dollars worth of camping equipment.
“Mad and very upset, especially for the kids because now I can’t take them camping. I have to replace all that stuff,” Kelso said.
Kelso said while funds are tight he plans do what he can to make sure the kids will still be able to go on their camping trips.
“Hopefully, be able to find a used trailer to buy and start replenishing the scout gear, the camping gear,” he said.
KSN asked Kelso if he could, what he would say to the thief or thieves.
“I hope the trailer serves your purpose because you took a lot of dreams from a lot of kids,” Kelso said.
Wichita’s Central Key and Safe said unfortunately Kelso is one of many stolen trailer victims.
“It’s easy to take off with. It’s easy to break into,” said Central Key and Safe employee Karen Edmonds.
Edmonds said someone who has fallen victim to a trailer thief visits the lock store at least once a week.
“They’re like ‘Ok, I had a trailer lock on it, is there something we can do different?'” Edmonds explained.
KSN asked Edmonds and Wichita police what people can do to keep their property safe.
Edmonds suggests trailer owners purchase a padlock with a hidden shackle that way thieves will have a more difficult time cutting or breaking the lock off. She did warn the hidden shackle locks can get pricey. Some locks start at $100.
“If you stop and think about, hey, this might make someone keep driving, it’s well worth it,” she said.
Wichita police gave KSN the following three tips:
Utilize security devices: hitch locks, coupler locks, trailer-wheel locks, alarms, tracking devices.
Document your trailer: keep photos of your trailer, keep trailer’s model number, keep trailer’s VIN number and/or tag number.
Know your neighbors: neighborhood watch – have your trusted neighbors watch for suspicious activity at your home while you are not at home, and call 911 if any suspicious activity is seen.