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Home  |  News  |  Equipment stolen from SC Forestry Commission

Equipment stolen from SC Forestry Commission

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Thursday, December 30, 2010

COLUMBIA, SC - Approximately $100,000.00 worth of equipment has been stolen from the South Carolina Forestry Commission's maintenance and storage area.

Sometime between the afternoon of Dec. 23 and the morning of Dec. 27, unknown people entered the property by cutting through a locked gate. The crime occurred at the shop complex, a non-public area of the agency's state headquarters at 5500 Broad River Rd. in Columbia.

Among the missing items are critical pieces of equipment that the agency needs for emergency response, according to Scott Hawkins, SCFC public information director.

"Many of the items are things our Incident Management Team must have to respond to large-scale disasters such as the bigger wildfires and hurricanes," he said.

The items include laptops, generators, welding equipment and a variety of hand tools. The thieves also made off with a Ford F350 diesel flatbed truck adorned with the agency's logo and two ATVs equipped for law enforcement and spot firefighting duty.

SCFC's law enforcement division, Columbia Police and SLED are cooperating on the investigation.

"This is a crime not just against our agency, but against the citizens of South Carolina" Hawkins said. "We've built up our Incident Management Team over time and acquired much of the gear with one-time-only Homeland Security grants."

Not all of the gear taken was designated for use on large disasters. An agency supervisor discovered the break-in Monday when he stopped in to retrieve a tool needed for a simple repair to an on-call firefighting tractor.

Anyone with information is urged to contact their local police department or the Forestry Commission at 1-800-777-FIRE (3473).
If you, or someone you know, have any information regarding any crime, you are encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers. You could earn a reward up to $1,000.

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