Life saving equipment due to be used in Queensland’s bushfire crisis has been stolen in the state’s North.
Tasmania Police is investigating after equipment worth thousands of dollars was stolen during two incidents.
A Tasmania Fire Service vehicle was broken into at South Launceston on Sunday night. About $8000 of equipment was stolen.
On Monday night, a State Emergency Service vehicle at Newstead was broken into, with about $3000 of equipment taken.
The stolen property includes cameras and photographic items, Milwaulkee tools, clothing items, portable radios and vehicle recovery equipment.
Some of the property was set to fly to Queensland to assist with the state’s bushfires, Tasmania Fire Service regional chief north Ian Bounds said.
“It’s specialist equipment, tool bags and cameras … it is marked and it is different to what people would normally see,” he said.
Tasmania Police Inspector Ruth Orr said entry was forced into both vehicles, which had caused extra damage.
“It’s deeply concerning that people are prepared to enter clearly marked emergency service vehicles and steal property associated with saving lives,” she said.
“Our emergency services personnel are on call 24/7 and this responsibility necessitates them having departmental vehicles at home, ready to go, with all their gear, when notified at short notice that the community needs assistance.”
Regional officer SES North Jason Johnson said the equipment was vital.
“We can’t do anything if we don’t have any equipment, we might as well be a member of the public,” he said.
“That equipment needs to be available 24 hours a day and the equipment is needed when ever it comes up. We need to be able to get in the vehicle and go straight away when the pager goes off.”
Inspector Orr is “strongly encouraging” anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or online at crimestopperstas.com.au.