Trailer housing crucial equipment for local church stolen
LONDON, ONT -- A church that runs services out of schools in London and Exeter has had a trailer containing equipment used to run the services stolen.
"Vitalpoint Church is a portable church. We meet in a high school here in north London," explains Pastor Ron Baker.
The church maintains office space in a Hyde Park industrial plaza at 1828 Blue Heron Drive, with much of the equipment used for services stored in a trailer parked behind the unit.
On Monday morning an outline in the snow was all that was left of the trailer.
The plaza's snow maintenance member delivered the bad news to Baker. "He looked at me and said, 'Your trailer was stolen last night.' And, at first, you kind of don't put it together. But then, after that, it was like, 'Oh no!'"
Along with the Sunday service at St. Andre Bessette Catholic High School, Vitalpoint does a simulcast for congregants at South Huron District Secondary School in Exeter, with bands at each location.
"Our bands run off of gear that you would see at a concert. And so all that gear is gone; like sound equipment, speakers, towers, all of our media/camera gear, because we do Facebook live, it's all gone.”
The trailer had a theft prevention device called a tongue lock but it appears the thieves used a grinder to make short work of that precaution.
The Insurance Bureau of Canada estimates cargo thefts cost about $5 billion a year. And much of that goes unrecovered.
Const. Gavin Dell of the London police says it’s an issue that is not easy to resolve, “It's an easy target. They can just pull up and tow away."
But police say there are other ways to protect or possibly recover a trailer and its contents.
Surveillance cameras can be a deterrent and GPS tracking can help in the recovery. But Dell says there are low tech solutions as well.
"Something that's simple, that you can do that's more affordable, is to make a marking on your trailer, something unique that only you know about. It just helps us with locating the trailer. Write down the VIN number. Keep that somewhere you know where it is so that if this does occur we have all that information available."
The church has insurance and Baker says the community response has been heartwarming. He says services will go on as planned this Sunday.