For the second year in a row, a local Boy Scout troop’s tree lot was burglarized.
The Portland Police Bureau says the break-in happened Wednesday night in the Wells Fargo parking lot on Southeast Milwaukie in Sellwood. Wells Fargo employees say their cameras don’t reach the area of the parking lot where it occurred.
The Scoutmaster of Troop 351, Mikael Benson, estimates about $2,000 in equipment was stolen.
Important tools like a generator and chainsaw that the Boy Scouts use for Christmas tree customers were taken.
Benson says, now, the children in their program may have to cut down on camping trips next year.
“I’m exhausted. Just exhausted,” he said.
Benson told FOX 12 they serve 70 boys and girls in their program, and the total amount of items stolen “represents about eight Scouts going to summer camp.”
“It’s bad, because camping trips are fun,” said Alex Downing, an 11-year-old Boy Scout.
This is the troop’s only fundraiser for the whole year, and it’s how the Scouts earn their way to camp.
Troop 351 just started selling Christmas trees in Sellwood less than two weeks ago. Benson says their fundraiser takes a hit after this, and it feels like they have to start over.
“How do you tell a 10-year-old this is the world we live in? That somebody would steal from a nonprofit like this? They’re stealing from kids. They’re not stealing from adults,” he said.
Benson says they were also broken into last year at their tree lot location on Southeast 45th and Powell. He says it was done in the very same fashion, and they lost about $1,200 in equipment that time.
Benson says from now on, they’ll be emptying their trailers at night if they have to.
A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to raise funds for the troop.
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