Former Boy Scout returns stolen gear to troop in Davis County

Posted at 9:51 PM, Jul 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-01 23:51:13-04

DAVIS COUNTY, Utah -- A troop of Boy Scouts who have special needs had $3,500 worth of camping equipment stolen last month, but this week about one-third of that equipment was returned.

"I was very surprised because I didn't think we'd ever see any of it back again," said Troop 62 Scout Master Doug Bunot.

Troop 62's trailer was stolen out of a West Point church parking lot around June 12. It was found, empty, a few days later. A trailer from Clinton Boy Scout Troop 51 was also stolen. That trailer is still missing.

"It hurt us a lot because we got to have the stuff that we need, and when we don't have it, we don't know where we're going to get it at," Bunot said.

Troop 62 consists of 50 men and women, ages 18 and up, who have special needs.They look forward to their annual August camping trip, and were heartbroken when their gear, consisting of tents, coolers, chairs and ovens, was stolen.

"It's probably one of the only times they can get out during the year and do something like this, and they love it, it's just great for them," Bunot said.

Then Ryan Dunham of North Ogden showed up earlier this week with about a third of the equipment. He said he had purchased it from a friend of a friend, and didn't find out until later, watching the news, that it belonged to Troop 62.

"My heart just broke when I found out somebody would steal from Boy Scouts, let alone, special needs," Dunham said. "And I wanted to take every step to make this right because I felt horrible that I had the stuff that was stolen from them."

Dunham immediately returned the stolen items. He said he grew up in Boy Scouts and knows how important these camping trips are.

"It gave me a warm fuzzy feeling to return this stuff to them, just the look in their face, and how they cheered up, let me know I was doing something right," Dunham said.

Dunham even set up a GoFundMe Page, asking the community to help pay for the rest of the stolen equipment, which has yet to be found.

"To me just shows the honesty and goodness in people, it makes me feel good that somebody would do that," Bunot said.

As for the thief responsible for stealing all this camping equipment to begin with, Dunham is helping the Davis County Sheriff's Office track them down. Davis County said they have identified a person of interest and expect to make an arrest soon.