This all-terrain vehicle used for search and rescue missions in the region was stolen from a property in the Upper Bench Road area early in the morning on May 29. (Photo courtesy of Josh Wollman)

Similkameen search and rescue volunteer devastated from theft

Volunteer firefighter Josh Wollman asks residents to look out for stolen quad and gear

A Keremeos man who volunteers with search and rescue in the region is devastated after he discovered the quad he uses to find lost or injured people was stolen from his property.

Keremeos volunteer firefighter, Josh Wollman, the son-in-law of Jim Barrett who is the victim of the theft, said the quad and hundreds of dollars worth of gear was stolen from his garage early in the morning on May 29.

READ MORE: Search and rescue say app helped save injured Okanagan mountain biker

The all-terrain-vehicle was parked in an enclosed search and rescue trailer.

“They broke into his Jeep, smashed the steering wheel and ignition, backed the Jeep out of the way to steal the quad and all his gear,” Wollman said.

Barrett, who is a volunteer and trainer with the Princeton Search and Rescue, reported the theft to the RCMP.

RCMP Cpl. Brian Evans said the theft was part of a series that took place in the early morning hours in the Olalla and Upper Bench Road area. The police believe a stolen vehicle from outside the region was used.

“This occurred at a time when people were awoken by the sound of vehicle and some activity, so people did a great job of capturing some photographs partially of the suspect and the vehicle so it helps in our investigation,” he said.

Wollman is hoping people will keep an eye out for the quad and all the gear, which he said is worth between $13,000 and $14,000. He asks that people contact the police if they see them.

“Stealing is bad enough, but if you steal something from someone who is on search and rescue — he goes out and rescues people who are lost. I really take it personally.

“He’s retired and he doesn’t have the money to replace it. Over the years of gathering all that gear, all those GPS and different gear to do his volunteer duty and it’s gone. He’s devastated and it is heartbreaking to see.”

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


Robin Grant
Reporter, Keremeos Review
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