HOUSTON (FOX 26) - What kind of person would steal more than $15,000 worth of equipment from a Boy Scouts of America troop made up of children with autism? That's exactly what troop leaders, the children's school, and their community of supporters want to know. Now, they have to pick up the pieces to make sure a camping trip, that the equipment was meant for, will still happen.
For almost ten years, Troop 609 has made its home at The Westview School, a place for high-functioning children on the autism spectrum. School administrators would have never imagined that on top of teaching their boys critical life skills, they would have to teach them that there are people out there who will take advantage of anyone.
"It was, it was difficult," describes scoutmaster Tony Hightower. "I mean, we are in the process of planning for our next camp out at the end of October and so now we’re in a little bit of a scramble mode.“
It was on Sunday when the troop leaders noticed their trailer filled with camping equipment was gone when they went to check inventory.
"Everything from tents to cooking equipment to mess kits to dining flies to, you know, all the stuff that you need to have a quality program in the outdoors," adds Hightower.
In total, around $15,000 worth of equipment stolen from the boys, most of whom are autistic. They were the ones who bought everything through years of fundraising. The trailer allowed them to serve the community and transport canned goods. Now, they’re devastated that they have nothing for all the work they put in.
But in true Boy Scouts fashion, they are pressing on.
"Ultimately, the stuff can be replaced," adds Hightower. "I would like to see people aware of what we do."
A police report was filed, but unfortunately, there was no surveillance video. If you know anything about this missing trailer, please contact police. As for the troop, they are doing all they can to have equipment before the camping trip scheduled for Oct. 26.