07/16/2014 11:38 EDT | Updated 09/15/2014 05:59 EDT

North Shore Rescue Caches Looted For 4th Time

VANCOUVER - For the fourth time in two weeks, and the second time in a single location, vandals have robbed a cache used by Vancouver's North Shore Rescue team.

Spokesman Doug Pope says the cache near Norvan Falls, a rugged region in the range north of Grouse Mountain, was hit even before it could be restocked following the first robbery discovered June 26.

He says the entire team of roughly 40 members is dumbfounded and wonders who would stoop so low as to target a volunteer operation dedicated to saving lives in Metro Vancouver's deceptively treacherous backcountry.

Pope says more than $30,000 worth of equipment has been taken since the first heist was discovered June 25 in the Hanes Valley, north and west of Norvan Falls.

He says the thefts come at the team's busiest time of year and force members to restock and do additional fundraising, although a local business donated $10,000 to cover replacement costs in the wake of June incidents.

North Shore Rescue depends on its strategically-place equipment as relay and supply points, so members can carry less gear while trekking quickly into the bush on the estimated 90 rescue missions conducted annually. (News1130)

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