Our Facebook post shared by more than 200 people results in tip to local police!
You may have heard that we were recently the victim of a major theft. One of our staff members showed up early in the morning on Friday, June 6, intending to work on a firebreak and fuel load management project at one of our preserves. When he arrived at our Auburn office, he discovered our work truck and trailer, loaded with a Polaris Ranger and pull-behind mower, were all missing from the parking lot. The property was stolen sometime after 6:30 p.m. Thursday, and a report was filed with the Auburn Police Department on Friday morning.
After filing the police report, we didn’t sit back and wait. We turned to various forms of social media, including Facebook, in an attempt to spread the word about the missing property. We posted pictures and descriptions of all the missing property and asked the community to help us get the word out by sharing our post. The Facebook post was sent out just before noon on Friday and was eventually shared by more than 200 people and seen by over 10,000. There is power in social media and the post worked! Thanks to the many supportive members of the community, our property was located and recovered.
We received a call from the police on Sunday around noon telling us the property had been recovered from a chop shop in Loomis. We arrived at the scene to discover that the thieves had been in the process of stripping the Polaris Ranger and were starting on the Ford truck when the police caught them. After eight hours in 105 degree heat, we were finally able to leave with the damaged equipment. We don’t know the extent of all the damage yet, or how much it’s going to cost to fix and replace things, but locating the property in such a short time certainly helped to minimize the damage that was done
We are very thankful for outpouring of support from our community! Stealing from a nonprofit is like stealing from the community that supports it. This equipment is critical to our stewardship staff to take care of our preserves, create fuel breaks, and monitor restoration efforts. With the public’s help by sharing our emails and Facebook posts, our property was seen and located quickly. It was ultimately our Facebook post and community help that solved the crime!
The theft was an unfortunate event, but in the end we at PLT are remembering Mr. Rogers’ wise advice to, “look to the helpers” in times of misfortune. We’re focusing our gratitude on the community and the support they gave us. Thank you to everyone who helped us in this time of need by spreading the word leading to the recovery of our equipment!
To find out about other ways you can help Placer Land Trust you can go here.