LAURELVILLE — The Laurelville Fire Department is offering a reward of $500 after Station 3 in South Bloomingville (Eagle Township) was broken into last week.

The would-be thief or thieves got away with approximately $10,000 worth of equipment including an Eclipse thermal imaging camera estimated to be worth $7,800.

“It’s a darn shame,” Fire Chief Butch Valentine told The Circleville Herald.

According to the Vinton County Sheriff’s Office, the incident was reported on Jan. 28. The Vinton County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident and has no leads to date; however, since Valentine posted the incident on the Laurelville Fire Department’s Facebook page, it has received over 45,000 hits on the post.

Items stolen include a chain saw, a Denver fire tool six-pound head 35-inch handle, bolt cutters, fire axes, extinguishers, spanner/wrenches, flashlights, safety cones and several pairs of Thorogood wildland fire boots.

Chief Valentine estimated the cost of the stolen items to be around $9,734.

According to Valentine, although there were a lot of items stolen, the other three stations have backup equipment that will cover Station 3 while they wait on the insurance company to disperse money to replace the stolen equipment.

“This will not affect our community as our truck is still in service,” Valentine stated.

A $500 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect(s).

In 2019, the Laurelville Fire Department had 343 runs including 127 in Benton Township; 80 Perry Township;83 Saltcreek Township; 12 Eagle Township; 16 within the Village of Laurelville; and 25 calls for mutual aid.

Anyone who may have information on this theft should contact the Vinton County Sheriff’s Office at 740-596-5242 or Chief Valentine at 740-503-0493.

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