When Cubmaster Brian Sherbahn discovered people were stealing donations to the Cub Scouts from a trailer he decided he’d set up a sting operation to catch them in the act.
People were stealing from the Battle Ground donation site for Troop 770 despite a sign pointing out it’s illegal. So this month, Sherbahn put out a trailer and a lawnmower as bait at 5 a.m. then parked behind some stairs at a nearby building with camera in hand.
“I just set them out there where people could see them as they drove past, and that little trailer got stolen five times … in a day,” he said.
He thought he would catch meth addicts or scrap metal thieves, but he was stunned to discover the people who were stealing from the donation site included a woman from the church across the street, a federal employee in a federal car and even a Scoutmaster from another troop.
“It wasn’t the people I thought it was going to be, and I was very disappointed in our citizenry that they would come and take things from Cub Scouts,” said Sherbahn. “These are little kids, and they work hard. (They) squash cans, work on the trailers to do this and to come and steal from those kids, how do you not think that’s wrong?”
He said he heard all kinds of excuses like, “’I didn’t know it was wrong; I was going to bring back some scrap metal to replace it with; I was going to give you a call.’”
The theft hasn’t stopped so Sherbahn plans for more stings and a bigger sign.
“So they won’t have that excuse. They can’t say they didn’t see it. It’s six foot by three foot with five-inch letters,” he said.
Sherbahn even recruited his son, Micah and assistant Cubmaster, to help in the sting.
“I was like, ‘OK, fine, just don’t get in trouble because then I’ll have to bail you out of jail for doing something stupid. (But) yes, he got me in on it,” Micah said.
Brian Sherbahn says if there’s really something in the trailer people want they can call the phone number that’s on the back. He’ll come and sell them the item. But if people steal the items and he catches them he’ll make sure police get their license plate numbers.
Sherbahn is also hoping the community helps out with more than donations. He’s asking people in the Battle Ground area to keep their eyes open for people taking rather than giving.
KATU: B.G. cubmaster sets up sting to catch thieves | The Columbian