Sleeping trailer stolen from charity's fireworks stand

By Emily Gillespie, Columbian breaking news reporter

Published:

Updated: July 2, 2013, 8:52 PM

 

A volunteer sleeping near a Hazel Dell fireworks stand awoke about 3:30 this morning to find someone stealing a trailer used by a charitable organization.

Luckily, the 14-foot red sports utility trailer didn’t have any fireworks inside, said the trailer’s owner, Jonathan Gill of Hockinson.

Gill is part of the Gateway Shrine Club, a Vancouver-based group that raises money for the Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Portland. Proceeds from the fireworks stand, set up at the Vancouver Masonic Center 2500 N.E. 78th St., benefit the hospital.

The group, however, is not allowed to leave the lot unattended.

“I park my utility trailer there so volunteers can throw a cot into it and sleep overnight,” Gill said. “Last night, the person pitched a tent because it was too hot.”

While the volunteer slept nearby, someone hitched the trailer to a dark-colored truck and drove off with the trailer, worth about $3,000. The trailer’s Washington license plate is 3686VX.

The Clark County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the theft and asks anyone with information about the incident or anyone who spots the trailer to call 911.

Without the trailer, Gill is not sure what the group will do to make sure volunteers have a place to sleep.

“It’s a hit to the organization,” he said. “We’ll just have to scramble … It’s a real shame that people think its OK to steal from other people.”

Gill said that he uses the trailer for other charitable organizations he’s involved in.

“It kind of all snowballs,” he said. “We try to make our community a better place … No good deed goes unpunished.”