SEQUIM — Volunteers with the Sequim Irrigation Festival aren’t letting a recent theft rain on their parade.
Sometime between late afternoon Tuesday and Wednesday evening, a thief or thieves broke into the festival’s float trailer parked in front of the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce and stole the float’s generator, reported Staff Sgt. Sean Madison with the Sequim Police Department.
“It almost certainly took place at night,” he said.
Madison said the truck was last seen undisturbed at about 2 p.m. Wednesday before the theft was reported the next day.
Police said the thief or thieves couldn’t cut the lock so instead the lever was broken, but they are unsure what equipment.
“We don’t have any leads right now, but that hasn’t stopped us before,” Madison said.
Deon Kapetan, the festival’s executive director, said that despite the shock of the break-in, volunteers are stepping up to make the drive to the Tacoma Daffodil Parade on Saturday.
Kapetan said chamber staff helped to see security cameras installed and Jarmuth Electric installing new lights.
Since posting online about the break-in Wednesday night, Kapetan said several people have offered to loan or give generators.
“The community has stepped up and asked, ‘What can we do?’ ” she said.
For now, the festival plans to borrow Jarmuth Electric’s generator for its upcoming parades.
“One of the catches is we have to use a quiet one,” she said. “You can’t sound like you’re at a campground when in a parade.”
Kapetan said the Honda 2000 generator should be distinct if people come across it because they painted it all black to be inconspicuous on the float.
She said unfortunately, the generator is not covered by the insurance on the trailer.
Madison said generators are often stolen because almost everyone has a use for them. He said a burglary last year saw several generators stolen from Coastal Farm & Ranch, but police were able to recover them.
Kapetan said this break-in isn’t an isolated incident. The festival’s van was broken into this January, as well.
An unidentified person broke in with a screwdriver and attempted to start the van and rummaged through its snacks.
“We think it might have been someone trying to get warm,” Kapetan said.
The festival paid $500 for its deductible on what is estimated to be a few thousand dollars in damage.
As for the cost to the trailer, Kapetan said festival workers are awaiting an assessment.
“We work hard to get sponsorship support and it’s unfortunate that this what we’ll have to use some of it for,” she said.
Prior to January’s and April’s incidents, Kapetan said the festival hasn’t had any incidents in the years the trailer has been parked at the chamber.
The Sequim Irrigation Festival will celebrate its 124th year May 3-12 with the theme “Sequim 124 — There’s No Place like Home.”
The float features a “Wizard of Oz” theme and will be seen in the Grand Parade on May 11.
For more information visit www.irrigationfestival.com.
To provide tips on the missing generator, call the Sequim Police Department at 360-683-7227.
Matthew Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at [email protected].