Heartless and sneaky thieves drove their vehicle into the Resurrection Roman Catholic Church parking lot at Whitney and Gerritsen Avenues under the cover of night and stole an equipment trailer belonging to Boy Scout Troop 396 around 1 a.m. on May 15th.
The trailer was parked across the street from the troops’ long-standing headquarters located at Resurrection Church and contained thousands of dollars’ worth of camping equipment used for trips and summer camp.
Assistant Scoutmaster Brian Mollica discovered the trailer missing the following morning. “My first thought was to find out if someone borrowed it or stole it,” he told the Canarsie Courier.
After checking in with Scoutmaster Andrew Sherman, they were able to obtain video footage from neighborhood cameras where crooks were seen disabling the padlock on the trailer coupler, hitching the trailer to their pickup truck within minutes and then disappearing into the night; however, it was not clear enough to make an identification.
“Everyone was in a slight panic because we had to figure out how we were going to manage our upcoming trips,” said Mollica.
The troop had plans to take the trailer to Ten Mile River Scout Camps in Narrowsburg, New York on June 9th, but now, the scoutmasters and parents have to quickly figure out how to purchase or borrow equipment from other troops, family and friends, and find volunteers who could transport 15 scouts and their camping gear on the 2.5-hour trip each way to and from the site in upstate New York.
Jennifer Arzberger, mother of two of the scouts and treasurer of their committee, started a “Friends of Scouts 396 Replacement of Stolen Item” GoFundMe page to replace the stolen trailer and equipment with an estimated total value of $10,000. “When not in use on camping trips, our trailer is used to store tools and equipment the Scouts use throughout the year,” Arzberger said on the site. “These items were purchased through different fundraising activities throughout the years and took many years to purchase.”
According to Boy Scouts of America, the crime was one of a pattern of thefts targeting boy scout trailers in past years. Sherman learned from other scoutmasters that two other trailers were recently stolen, one in Brooklyn and the other in Staten Island.
Anyone with information can contact the 61st Precinct or email Troop 396 at BkTroop396@gmail.com. Visit the GoFundMe site at gofundme.com/f/boy-scouts-troop-396-replacement-of-stolen-items.