Stealing from scouts in the shadow of God

12:42 AM, Feb 5, 2011   |    comments
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Lakeland, Florida - It's hard to believe that someone would steal from the Boy Scouts while standing in the shadow of God.

It's considered the lowest of the low, some say.

Scout leader Steve Meyer told 10 News, "To come into a church and steal a Boy Scout trailer, you know it's got gear in there, you know they rely on it, that's just unforgivable in my opinion."

On January 3rd, someone went behind the Bethany Christian Church at 4224 Pipkin Creek Road in Lakeland and stole a Boy Scouts of America trailer parked in back.

It was filled with their gear, camping equipment, sleeping bags and sentimental items that go back 25 years.  The contents and the trailer itself were, in all, worth about $5,000.

"Everything used to be right here, this would be where trailer would be parked," Meyer said as he walked through the empty patch where the trailer used to be.

"We had the two locks on there and thought it was adequate enough to secure it," Meyer told us, shaking his head.

He said the worst part about the entire situation was the disappointment felt by the members of Troop 704.

Meyer describes how the young men reacted.  "Actually, our first meeting after that, the whole somberness of the whole troop was heartbrekaing - to see all the boys bouncing around, 'Have you seen our trailer? Do you know where our gear is?'"

Detectives say that the area where the trailer was parked has not seen a lot of crime. It's a quiet residential neighborhood.

"We don't see crime here," said Detective David Bright from the Polk County Sheriff's Office.

So, did the person who committed this crime know that the trailer was there, or did they find it in the middle of the night?

Detective Bright says the crime is very unusual.  He told us, "I would call this something I haven't seen before. Something quite like this."

Meyer has a message for the person who did this. "My comments are probably not suitable for this uniform, we'll leave it at that, or for TV. It takes someone low to come into a church and steal from the Boy Scouts as well."

He says they won't give up. "Don't despair. We might be down, but we're not out."

This isn't the first time that a Boy Scout trailer has been taken in this area.  Recently, thefts of trailers have also been seen in Pinellas Park and Lutz.

If you have information on this case, please call Crime Stoppers at 1-(800)-226-TIPS.  To visit the website, you can click here.

As always, tipsters can remain anonymous.  They are eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

Melanie Michael, 10 News

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