Fire truck thieves sink to a new criminal low

Thieves in the Cowichan Valley dug a new cellar with the break-in and thefts from a Duncan Volunteer Fire Department truck last weekend.

How low can you get?

Thieves in the Cowichan Valley dug a new cellar with the break-in and thefts from a Duncan Volunteer Fire Department truck last weekend.

There are several things that make this crime particularly galling.

First, the thieves are stealing from a volunteer organization.

Second, they are stealing from a volunteer organization that selflessly donates huge amounts of time and energy keeping us all safe.

Third, they stole items that one can’t imagine having much resale potential — so they’re not even of much use to the criminals.

The miscreants made off with not only a radio and camera — electronics are favourite items for thieves — they also went to a lot of effort to snatch a siren and controller along with emergency lighting.

What are they going to do with a siren?

It’s an item that would seem to be of no value to anyone not involved in emergency services.

But for emergency services these things are vital.

Being able to let traffic know they’re coming so emergency vehicles have an unobstructed path on the road is extremely important to them being able to get to the scene of an emergency safely and quickly.

“If we’re going to a call, we will be going slower,” deputy fire chief Art Sanderson told the Citizen.

We know we’re sure upset at the thought that vital minutes could be lost in getting to a fire, or a crash victim because of the criminal acts of one or more selfish jerks who care only about their own enrichment.

It’s bad enough when someone starts stealing phones and iPods and the like from parked cars. It erodes our sense of community safety and our belief in our fellow citizens as decent human beings.

But it’s even worse when they endanger public safety.

Thankfully, there are good people, too, who renew our faith.

See the letter to the editor below describing how a stranger returned a lost backpack stuffed with important items.

We believe there are more generous and honest people in Cowichan. It’s too bad that the few found a way to hurt us all.