Thieves stole a rescue ATV, Halloween candy, fundraiser meat and inflicted damage at the Gooderham Fire Station around Oct. 27.
Highlands East acting fire chief Chris Baughman confirmed someone entered the station Oct. 27 or early the next morning. They took several items, including a 2004 Arctic Cat ATV, $110 in Halloween candy and $200 worth of meat for fundraising barbecues. There were also minor scratches to a trailer, snowmobile and pumper.
Firefighters located and recovered the stolen ATV Nov. 3. But district fire chief Brian Horner said he questions why someone would target the hall.
“I understand people steal stuff, but a fire hall? That serves your community, that probably serves you?” Horner said. “It’s the community’s four-wheeler for helping them. I just don’t understand why they would take something like that from a fire hall.”
Horner said the ATV gets used to reach people in need out in the brush. He added firefighters got a tip about its location and contacted OPP before recovering it without altercation.
“Nice that we got it back and hopefully we can serve the community better,” Horner said.
Firefighter Michael Purdon said he was the first person into the hall after the theft.
“It’s pretty sad when you think, we use this equipment if somebody’s got a life-threatening (situation), or are out in the middle of nowhere, and we need to get to them,” Purdon said, adding the conversation about it was heated among firefighters. “The guys were pretty steamed about it.”
The perpetrators also broke the hall’s pop machine, rummaged through Horner’s office and damaged its door.
“Nobody likes to be broken into,” Horner said.
Firefighters hand out the Halloween candy to kids out of their trucks in the centre of Gooderham. The candy was replaced in time for the event.
“I sort of was more mad the Halloween candy for the kids was stolen, than the four-wheeler (ATV) because of insurance and everything,” Horner said.
Haliburton Highlands OPP is investigating the incident.