Thieves steal tools, equipment from Hawkins County HazMat

Jeff Bobo • Oct 25, 2012 at 10:49 AM

ROGERSVILLE — The Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the theft earlier this week of $11,584 worth of tools and equipment from the Hawkins County HazMat facility on Big Springs Road just outside of Rogersville.

Among the high-dollar items stolen were a $6,000 Bullard thermal imaging camera, a Northstar generator valued at $2,350, and a Honda generator valued at $950.

HCSO Deputy Stacy Vaughan stated in his report that HazMat Chief Tony Robinson said the thefts took place between 5 p.m. Monday and 10:40 a.m. Tuesday, when the items were discovered missing.

Other items missing are two toolboxes containing miscellaneous tools, four 50-foot extension cords, a battery charger, cordless drill, circular saw, two 1,000-watt halogen lights on tripods, flashlight and emergency light bar.

Vaughan told the Times-News Thursday that some items like the thermal imaging camera and emergency light bar wouldn’t ordinarily be used by the public or seen at a pawn shop or at a flea market.

He asks anyone who might have information about the theft or whereabouts of the stolen items to contact the sheriff’s office at (423) 272-4848.

“The HazMat, along with all the other emergency service providers in the county, are on a limited budget, and they work hard to get what they’ve got,” Vaughan said. “It’s a hard blow for them to sustain a loss like this. The insurance deductible will replace these items, but still, as with any insurance this could hurt them on their premiums in the future.”

Vaughan added, “Anytime equipment like this is stolen from an emergency response agency, it puts the lives of taxpayers at risk. For the time being, Hawkins County HazMat is without this equipment, and hopefully they can replace it before they’re called to a serious incident where they’ll need it. That’s why I’m hoping someone in the public who knows something about this incident will come forward and identify a suspect or the location of these items.”

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