The 14-foot trailer held radio collars, dart guns, drive nets and other equipment used to trap and monitor big game, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game reports, estimating the gear is worth “tens of thousands of dollars.”
The trailer was towed away from Fish and Game headquarters in Boise Saturday night, April 8, and reported the next day. Surveillance photos of the suspect and his vehicle were quickly secured, but the suspect, trailer and most of the equipment are still at large two weeks later, so the department issued a news release Friday seeking the public’s help to find the man and recover the goods.
A reward is being offered, Fish and Game said in a news release, but no dollar amount for that reward was specified.
The stolen trailer was last seen parked outside of the Wal-mart in Jerome, KIVI-TV, Channel 6, reports, and store surveillance video captured images of the suspect, his vehicle and the trailer. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game shared those surveillance photos with the media Friday.
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“Some of the stolen items have been recovered, apparently dumped by the thief at several random locations between Boise, Mountain Home and Jerome,” the Fish and Game news release stated. “But the trailer, together with most of the other capture gear, remains missing.”
After the theft, Fish and Game secured at least one other trailer in their parking lot with a device to prevent a vehicle from hooking up to it, Channel 6 reports.
"I really don't know if he's going to try to sell the trailer or try to sell any of the equipment left in it or not, or if it's just purely personal gain," Chris Wright, Idaho Fish and Game assistant chief of enforcement, told the TV station.
The collars are used to track mortality rates and determine migratory patterns for various species, as well as help officials set hunting seasons. According to Wright, they are typically paid for by way of hunting licensing and tag fees, Channel 6 reports.
"We're anxious to hear from anyone who can identify our suspect," Fish and Game regional investigator Kurt Stieglitz said in Friday’s news release.”This theft is an affront to the sportsmen and women of this state who paid for this equipment, and a major blow to our agency's ability to properly manage Idaho's big game populations.”
The news release asks anyone with information about the trailer theft to call the Fish and Game Nampa office at 208-465-8465, the CAP hotline at 1-800-632-5999, or Idaho State Police at 208-846-7550. People with information also can call Crime Stoppers at 343-COPS.