The Tyee Lake Volunteer Fire Department hall was broken into on Monday, Oct. 26. A water tender and two wildland fire pumps that were stolen were later recovered. One person was arrested. (Photo submitted)

The Tyee Lake Volunteer Fire Department hall was broken into on Monday, Oct. 26. A water tender and two wildland fire pumps that were stolen were later recovered. One person was arrested. (Photo submitted)

One person arrested in connection with theft from Tyee Lake Volunteer Fire Department

A stolen water tender and two water pumps were recovered

The Tyee Lake Volunteer Fire Department is grateful to the Williams Lake RCMP and a local resident after some equipment stolen from the fire hall on Tuesday, Oct. 27 was recovered.

Fire chief Rick Jelley said the department’s 2004 water tender was discovered stashed 45 kilometres away near Bond Lake Road.

“A local resident Bill Derbyshire was walking his dog when he saw the truck parked down a dead-end road and called me and today I picked up the two water pumps that were stolen, the RCMP located the pumps during a routine traffic stop on Oct. 30,” Jelley said.

Jelley said the hall’s trail camera captured images of two people arriving at the fire hall in a pickup truck on Monday, Oct. 26, and scoping the place out.

They returned in the early hours of Tuesday, Oct. 27 and used a pry bar to open the side door of the hall and gain access.

Two hoses were stolen and only one of those has been recovered, he added.

“It’s a bit deflating as we’ve spent the better part of 12 years getting that hall and equipment. We certainly will put in a steel door and bolts, but it’s crazy that you should have to do that at a small fire hall. We will also do an inventory tonight to make sure nothing else was taken.”

Our Fire/Community Hall was broken into late Monday night and our water tender, two wild land fire pumps, two lengths of…

Posted by Tyee Lake Community Association on Saturday, October 31, 2020

The water tanker had to be towed and will require some repairs, Jelley added.

RCMP Insp. Jeff Pelley said Tuesday that a 37-year-old male from Williams Lake was arrested for driving a Ford F150 while prohibited during the Oct. 30 traffic stop.

“Charges are being forwarded for possession of stolen property. The accused is released on conditions and will be making his first appearance in court on Dec. 16, 2020.”

Pelley said although this was a significant recovery affecting public safety, there are still outstanding stolen items.

“Investigators still continue to focus on the evidence and identify the offenders who are responsible for compromising the safety of fire services for one of our communities with exceptional volunteers,” Pelley said, adding the RCMP will continue to work in co-operation with the Tyee Fire Department.

Anyone with information about this investigation is asked to contact the Williams Lake RCMP at (250) 392-6211 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800 222-8477.

“I just want to say how awesome the RCMP were,” Jelley said. “They attended right away and were able to get our things back in just over a week.”

Read more: Alleged firearm threat in Williams Lake Friday aimed at new business owners

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