RIDGE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Police on Long Island were looking for the cold-hearted thieves who stole some Boy Scouts’ camping equipment.

It happened just as dozens of scouts were preparing for their monthly camping trip.

As CBS2’s Dick Brennan reported, eager Boy Scouts from Troop 187 were all dressed for camping, but left broken-hearted after thieves broke into a trailer and stole all of their camping equipment.

“I think it’s pretty upsetting that someone would steal stuff from a church,” Thomas Jackson said.

Scout leaders said they had been keeping all of their equipment inside of a trailer behind the Middle Island Presbyterian Church on Longwood Road in Ridge. Police said thieves broke the trailer’s lock and emptied it sometime between October 2 and October 10.

“Basically, all our new tents, and our lanterns, colvern lanterns, and approximately about $11,000 worth of stuff,” Scoutmaster Tom Hart said.

The scouts did not have insurance on the equipment which they were planning to use for a camp out next weekend.

“Weblows woods at baiting hollow. We were planning on going. We will still go. We have some tents left, but they are not in great condition, but the boys will survive and we will make do. That’s what we do as scouts,” assistant scoutmaster, John Moore said.

“It’s very upsetting. These boys worked hard to raise funds for their equipment so they can enjoy their camping trips and learn all their skills,” Gail Langan added.

Word of the brazen theft has been spreading through the community leaving residents outraged.

“It sickens me somebody would do something like that. It’s not right. It’s a terrible thing. I feel for the kids,” Joe Torio said.

Scout leaders are hoping the thieves will have second thoughts and return the equipment, otherwise they will return to a fundraising campaign to replace the camping tools the young scouts rely on.

Suffolk County Police are offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.


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