Thief Steals ATV From Group That Trains Dogs to Help Veterans
Last weekend sometime between Saturday night and Monday morning, a heartless burglar broke into a tool shed in Boyds and stole an all-terrain vehicle from Warrior Canine Connection, a non-profit organization that raises and trains puppies to help wounded veterans adjust to life after the military.
According to Rick Yount, the executive director of Warrior Canine Connection, burglars broke a through window in a tool shed and then used the bolt cutters to cut the lock off the building where the ATV was located and drove the 1997 Red Kawasaki four-wheeler away from the property.
The crime was reported to the Maryland Natural Resources Police because the property is part of Seneca Creek State Park. According to Candy Thomson, the spokesperson for the Maryland Natural Resources Police, “A theft occurred at one of the farm/utility buildings. Two items were stolen: a Kawasaki ATV and a Milwaukie power tool. It appeared though that initial entry into the building was made through an unlocked window. A wooden closet inside the building was broken into to gain access to the power tool. It appeared that the chain and padlock on the main sliding doors were cut from inside the building to remove the ATV from the building.”
“The investigation is active. We have evidence gathered at the scene,” said Thomson. Police said the theft probably occurred between 4:00 pm Saturday and 7:40 am on Monday morning.
“One of the veterans that we employ arrived early Monday morning and found that the chain on the main shed had been cut and we saw that it was clear that somebody had stolen the four-wheeler that he uses on the site. He is a disabled veteran and the ATV helps him get around the farm,” said Yount.
Warrior Canine Connection, which currently based in Brookeville, Md, has a long-term lease on the property with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources to turn the property into its new headquarters.
“It is a special spot, because it is relatively close to Walter Reed Hospital and it offers a very pastoral setting out there. You feel like you are in Kansas,” said Yount.
WCC is in the process of renovating the buildings on the old farm at 14934 Schaefer Road in Boyds which will become the organizations new headquarters where it raise and train the puppies, as well as a provide temporary housing to veterans who will eventually be partnered with the pups.
“The largest project is renovating an old dairy barn and use it offices and housing for veterans will use it for stay who are coming here to get matched with dog or those who are interested in becoming a service dog trainer,” said Yount.
“There is a special place for anyone who would do something like this,” said Yount. “I hope Karma responds swiftly to the individual who would rob from a charity that is supporting the veterans in their community. It is pretty low.”
“We are going to keep driving on, but it is a setback,” said Yount. “We are working our butts off to make this program work and this move a reality to help support those who have really sacrificed on our behalf to have some knucklehead do something like this… it is a step in the wrong direction”
Anyone who may have information about the whereabouts of the ATV or information about the crime is asked to call Maryland Natural Resources Police at the 24-hour number 410-260-8888 or Warrior Canine Connection at 301-260-1111.
Photos courtsey of Warrior Canine Connection and Maryland Natural Resources Police.