Boy Scouts’ gear stolen, including many items the boys purchased by fundraising efforts

MILL CREEK — Just two days before Thanksgiving, the leaders of Boy Scout Troop 221 had to share a bad bit of news with their Scouts.

Thieves had smashed the lock on their storage shed. Nearly all of their camping equipment — purchased through Scout fundraising projects — was gone.

They estimate the loss at $3,000, troop committee chairwoman Deanna Ramirez said.

Still, they couldn’t let feelings of anger and sadness drive their talk with the boys, she said.

“We wanted to reassure them that it wasn’t going to stop us,” she said. “We’re still going to go camping. We’re still going to do all of the fun things we’ve always done.”

The burglary remains under investigation, Mill Creek police Sgt. Ian Durkee said. It took place sometime earlier this month on a church property along 132nd Street SE, near McCollum Pioneer Park. Police believe the burglary was random.

Troop 221 is made up of more than 50 grade school boys from Mill Creek and south Everett. The older boys took it the hardest, because many of them worked on fundraisers to buy the equipment, Ramirez said.

Luckily, the troop’s next camping trip isn’t planned until February, at a former military barracks, so they have some time to buy tents.

In the meantime, they’ll start restocking the tents, pots, pans and everything else that was stolen, Ramirez said. It could take a while. Their next big fundraiser is Christmas tree recycling after the holidays.

Troop leaders wanted the boys to understand that their Scouting experience wouldn’t be ruined, she said.

“We will still remain positive, and we’ll do whatever we have to to provide for them,” she said.

The stolen items might stand out to anyone who sees them, Ramirez said.

Several heavy black plastic totes that were taken were marked “Troop 221.” Multiple Coleman-brand tents were taken, as well as Coleman stoves and several sets of cookware.

Troop leaders ask that anyone who might have information about the burglary or stolen property to contact Mill Creek police.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com.

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