A flatbed trailer used for a volunteer effort to clean up debris from the Black forest fire was reported stolen this week.
Southern Baptist Disaster Relief set up shop at the First Baptist Church of Black Forest a week after the blaze was contained. Volunteers with equipment and tools from more than 20 states have been working to clear ashes and debris without charge from more than 300 homes, leaving lots ready for rebuilding.
The group had about 15 houses left to clear and it hopes the public can help spot the thieves and return the trailer.
"It's a real downer to see that someone will steal from people who are just trying to help," Bill Furch, a Disaster Relief volunteer said Thursday. "It just adds insult to injury."
Furch believes the trailer was taken late Monday or early Tuesday by two men he said have been spotted looking at the restoration equipment in the area of the campus at 10915 Black Forest Road.
"Unfortunately we've never been able to get a good look at them or the license plate on their truck, and when a security guard tried to get their attention, they sped away in a large pickup," Furch said.
The trailer was rented by the organization in late June and the volunteers had been using it to haul equipment and debris from homes that were destroyed during the Black Forest fire.
The trailer was described as a 20-foot Towmaster flatbed, black with red ramps on the back and white pin stripes on the side, with Colorado license plate 432XYH.
"It's valued around $7,000 and it was priceless to the volunteers," said Dennis Belz, state director with Southern Baptist Disaster Relief.
The El Paso County Sheriff's Office is investigating but did not have any information concerning leads or possible sightings of the trailer.
"This is not a vehicle that's easy to hide, so we're really hoping someone will notice it and report it," said Furch, a Black Forest resident.
Anyone with information can call the El Paso County Sheriff's Office at 520-7204.